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Oct 18
I was your typical angsty teenager,
lust and recklessness personified
into a human body.

I never called myself a poet,
but I spent my days
writing to boys who never loved me
and parents who were never there.

I went through a photography phase.
I cut images from magazines,
women with stick-figure shapes
and too much makeup and sad eyes
that everyone seemed to love staring at.
I took pictures of people
when they weren’t looking,
found beauty in others
when I needed to find beauty in myself.

I went through a rebellious phase.
I shaved the side of my head
and dyed my hair blue, and then black.
I tattooed my skin and
pierced crazy places on my body.
I smiled at adults walking by
because they fell silent,
and I knew that they were judging me
but didn’t have the
courage to say anything.
I liked thinking that
I was braver and louder
and more confident at seventeen,
than these people were at sixty-four.

I snuck out and went
for long walks in the dark,
because the nighttime air
felt peaceful and still.
and when the world was fast asleep,
I could let go of my attitude.
for a few hours, I could feel calm
because nobody was watching.

I was walking home one night
with Molly in my bloodstream
and adrenaline in my bones
but I got trapped in my mind
somewhere along the way,
stuck floating in between
self-worship and self-loathing.

I ran away a few times,
usually ending up at my friends’ houses.
I drank from blue Solo cups
not knowing what I was drinking
and not caring enough to know
as long as it got me drunk enough
to dance all night
and not remember a single thing
the next morning.

I watched my best friend
sneak away, not so stealthily,
to go have ***
with boys twice her age.
I think she snuck away loudly
on purpose so that
we would all know  
she was capable of
getting boys to
pound her senseless.
I don’t think she was capable of
getting boys to love her
for more than her body,
but I don’t think she ever tried.

I fell in love,
or at least I thought I did.
I had my heart broken
and healed and broken again.
at one point, there was a boy
who taught me how to kiss,
and that the backseats of cars
are rarely as spacious as they look.

through our conversations,
I learned that this boy believed
in extraterrestrial life,
and that he hated the color orange
for reasons he could not explain,
and that when he imagined the future,
he saw me in it.

through my own heartbreak,
I learned that sometimes
words mean nothing,
and that people can lie,
and that we were too young
to imagine any future at all.

I made memories
that still haunt me,
and promises that
I broke long ago.
I lived in the moment
and didn’t want to
think about growing up,
or what my plans would be
one year from then, or five, or ten.

I didn’t want to think
about anything farther away
than the weekend,
because nothing was guaranteed,
and nothing ever stayed the same.

change is constant
and, to me, that is both
beautiful and terrifying
at the same time.
Sarah Flynn
Written by
Sarah Flynn  F/Pennsylvania, USA
(F/Pennsylvania, USA)   
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