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Nov 2018
do you ever look at that freshman year photo of yourself,
(maybe hair fuzzed, maybe eyes wide, maybe teeth wider still,)
and think,
“ugh!!!”
you think, “that’s not me.”
and you’re right.
it’s not old.
it’s not tired.
it hasn’t slept through first period yet - and survived.
(so you had to fight off two cats to do your homework, ended up being pretty rushed and of course you know teacher wants your best work…)
it hasn’t crashed a car into the garage yet.
(*******, you were going so slow! how did that even happen??)
it hasn’t had sweaty-palmed movies, a quick rub on the pants before going in for the hold.
(she smells so good!)
your mom makes you broccoli, extra mushy because that’s how you like it, and you get a little teary.
you think “i haven’t cried over broccoli since i was five.”
you wear the same coat that you did in seventh grade.
the arms are stained.
you can almost still see grass from hills long ago.
when you put it on, your stomach still rolls down those hills a little bit.
you feel the cold snaps inside its very lining,
an excited screech, a simple pleasure.
you still know how to do that special little breath before the big one when you step outside.
(means your lungs don’t turn into icicles. maybe you won’t need it where you’re going.)
i bought that coat about one foot two ago.
(i’ll still need it where i’m going.)
i confessed my first about three hundred sins ago.
(i’ll still need it where i’m going.)
you went from giving gum to people you’ve never thought about,
(trust me, it’s nothing!)
to trademark glares, meant to keep the thoughts out.
(don’ttalktomedon’ttalktomedon’ttalktome.)
it feels like there’s a watermark over everything you write.
it feels like your sense of sight
is far off.
(maybe it’s in california,)
it got pulled out.
(maybe it’s in pennsylvania,)
it rooted again elsewhere.
(maybe it’s in boston. maybe it’s always been boston. your whole life, it was boston. you never even knew.)
glassy-eyed stare,
(over water.)
now that’s some trademark glare!
(over ice. over easy. over and out. so over it.)
maybe in sophomore year you called a teacher by their first name,
and ran away when you got that trademark glare.
now it’s “hey douglas, guess who didn’t do their homework uh-gain?”
it’s a joke that y’all share.
you know you won’t remember so much.
you won’t remember the shoe squeaks, every last-minute print job.
you won’t remember the chicken nuggets, how much gum bubbles ****** you off during MCAS,
but you remember a glow.
i remember a warmth, so much.
i remember every time that i grew a little more “i can do it and i don’t know what it will be,”
even if i don’t have the words.
will you remember too?
i wrote on my arm once,
“it all feels so dissolved.
eyes are tired.
eyes are hopeful.
the growing up gets closer each day,
and we are moving on.”
all of this isn’t knowing you can fly.
it’s knowing you know how to try.
Sidney Chelle
Written by
Sidney Chelle  19/Gender Nonconforming/California
(19/Gender Nonconforming/California)   
1.6k
     Sidney Chelle and Elizabeth Brown
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