a letter never sent/realization made too late
I think I might love you but it’s one of those things where it’s not worth it if I don’t. When I look around my room I see your limbs draped along the bed frame, pieces of your heart taped on the wall and propped up on the shelf. When I think about my time here I imagine ocean waves crashing with your voice, something stupid that you said to make us laugh. It’s one of those things where if I had to pick the best aspects of my life, they would all trace back to a few ways that I’ve felt, and those would be remnants of moments with you.
But I’m not stupid. I’ve made peace with the fact that I grew up too fast and left behind the innocence of wishing on dandelions before I fully blossomed. Now I’m something of a witch, grumbling on the shoreline, swaying to the wind, standing tall and independent. I don’t expect to be picked, and I’m content with where I am. A tiny part of me is even glad that you keep me around – never the object of affection, but a wise constant in the scene.
If I do love you, I’m scared that that’s the worst thing I could do. There will always be girls who are prettier, flashier, more me than me. I know every type that you like, every glimmer that catches your eye and warrants a cheeky joke in my direction. If I love you, I am signing myself up for a lifetime of battle scars, every new connection for you matching a burn on me.
So I think I’ll fold this intuition up and bury it in a moving box as I pack up my mind. It was just a lapse in judgment. You own too much of me; I will never let you get close enough to see.
a poem i wrote in 30 seconds
I am not good with my emotions
But you know how you make me feel
The most delicate and resilient things
Shatters ripples clinks rushes
I wish I could read you open
In a hushed voice I think about you
Like medicine in a healthy body
And on the face of it I could’ve loved you but for now
Briefly I let it rest
Feel it on my skin and then you’re gone
Glass and water
What wasn't over
a feeling that is not homesickness
a sojourner needs a thread
to trace back the steps she took
far from home
a different ocean but the water tastes the same
like melted lakeside sugar
late night drives from coast to coast
taking the long way
leaving for good
knowing the moments we lived for would stay in our bloodstreams
through the atmosphere
across time zones
in a soul that is shared by many
kept in bodies that ran away
it isn’t nature’s way,
letting go of you.
like the threads on a skirt i picked up
and thought you might like
the cosmetic elongation of my eyelashes
and the extension of my belief that you may
someday return. getting done up in
a look you’ll never see but you could
in every corner there’s a glimpse of you.
my shadow holds your hand
my ears prick up in movie theaters
at the mention of things you liked
but never told me.
i think i could’ve loved you
if you stuck around,
or maybe i’d have realized you were human
and i’d have had the courage
to get up and find myself.
i’m just imagining
It’s so easy to lose yourself in a room of people, to transform into someone different and more radiant than how you feel inside. It’s like a veil falls over your dullness, rebranding you as loved and vintage rather than used and worn out. It doesn’t feel good to think- it feels right to keep moving, to run and twirl and sip until reality spins out and replaces itself with peach hues and bad ideas, warm remedies for a broken heart. That night, beautiful lies are told. Storied records are broken. Timeless classics are born.
the most generic poem to ever exist
through fluorescent failure i found you so pretty
like being luminous somehow made you good
the thunder of being young, the crash course of disappearance
in gauzy strip malls it was always you
a pressure point
a bruise i kept pressing as if
more insistence would pinch our time
stretch it to last for longer in my mind
and blur out the bad parts for my peace
say anything and squeeze it
bunches of bitterness boxed up with flowers
you did a good job with goodbyes.
senior year recap
Not being in high school anymore is a really weird feeling. I cry so much these days, and when I’m not crying, I feel like crying.
Senior year recap: I was named valedictorian and I’m going to Stanford. I placed second in the league in my last race ever, and decided to quit track after the winter season. I had senior days, senior concerts, senior banquets, the whole shebang. I had people sign my yearbook; so many wrote that I’m going to do great things in life, and to have a good one if our paths don’t cross again. It was all a very sweet, slightly bitter, last ride around the academic calendar.
Senior year recap: I had a crippling crush on a boy who doesn’t like me back and is moving away right after graduation so I’ll probably never see him again. I drank way too much coffee and didn’t sleep enough and lost a lot of work ethic and didn’t eat right. I cried. A lot.
I also am in the process of revamping my wardrobe. I dyed my hair. I watched a ton of movies and made friends through movie reviews. I worked long hours at Rite Aid. I went out more. I did things I shouldn’t have on Senior Skip Day. It hasn’t really sunk in that it’s over. I feel like I’m going back to school next week. But I’m not.
I’m trying to live in the now, but it all feels fleeting when the future is looming so darkly up ahead. I hope that in college I’m more confident, more willing to pursue creative ideas. I hope I grow and shed my stuck mindset and I hope I completely forget about things like stupid high school crushes and prom dates. That’s not to say I want to forget how they made me feel though. Pain is necessary for evolution. Loss is necessary for gains.
if it could be
the sky only looks like this on summer nights
when it’s quiet and you’re sitting at a stoplight.
you only ever looked at me like that in my head
or when you were bored or when i was
death is a small thing when we talk about change
setting off, you up north and i to the west
but really i’m leaving you first.
orange colors my vision on the unpaved sidewalk
weezer in the background as the ice cream truck sounds
and this is the last summer that i’ll feel old and young at once.
drama queen tendencies
i don’t know what they call this,
melodrama or real life or secrets of a
wannabe cool kid stuck in kool aid suburbia
no newness no shine just
loss just yearning for a one-day flash event
for fire or for a name to paste in for
a feature on the ap lit exam to
wax poetic about my chosen devices when i,
left to my own, am a mess.
i starve on movie reviews and forty minute curfews
i pine for a person i barely know
i don’t sleep enough or eat the right stuff i barely have time
for the good people in my life as i give it all
to good stories and wasted time
and here i go again.
we should catch up sometime.
is it over?
There’s a finality in everything I do now. This is the last quarter of high school. This is the last day before spring break. This is the last time I go here, I do this. And it’s weird to know there will be a day where I won’t remember what this feels like.
Senior year tastes like iced coffee from the bagel store and Valentine’s Day Sweet Tarts. It sounds like uncontrollable laughter layered with crying and the sound of screaming along to Traitor by Olivia Rodrigo. It looks like late-night drives, mid-day naps, sitting in class and bearing the heavy weight of what-ifs. And it presses on me, willing me to preserve the memories in a jar before they’re gone.
In less than six months, I’ll be in California with a bunch of strangers and Stanford won’t just be a pipe dream or an acceptance letter or the letters in my Instagram bio. It will be real life, beneath my feet, mine for the taking. I’m not fully ready to become the college girl I spent all of high school crafting in my mind; I always imagined myself as cool and enigmatic, fashionable and down-to-earth, loved by all, my high school self but better and prettier. As I get closer and closer to graduation, though, I’ve started to like my current self more and more. I am pretty and kind and funny and smart, and maybe we don’t transform as soon as we head off to college. Maybe growth isn’t discarding your past self, but adding onto an already worthy foundation.
I still need a prom date and to write my graduation speech. The year is far from over. But I can feel the change creeping in. I’m not scared through- life is about living. I’m soaking it in.