who knew that growing up,
feels a lot like growing thin?
who knew my weathered bones
would grow to hardly recognize the skin that they live in?
and when i say that
i mean more than just the sleepiness that seems to reside permanently around my collarbones.
with the weight of converging adolescence and adulthood
like kissing life-milestone tectonic plates,
they bury us.
we spent the last of summer days soaking up what little sun the mountain range allotted us,
and the last of summer nights gathered closely around the burning ends of our post sunset cigarettes
murmuring that there must be more than this.
striving to make the grade without making ourselves insane.
substantiating our existences with substances and excess.
growing closer to these ragtag companions we’d patch-worked together in a few months time than friends we’d known for years,
this is family.
this is kin.
they say that nothing compares to the first breath of spring but i digress,
the first breath of freedom - that first whisper, no matter how tainted with ash and glitter and the ever-present impending air of responsibility it may be,
is truly incomparable.
but, on the first night you find yourself talking someone down from the dangerous concoction of stimulants and ego,
listening to them scream about how they hate the world, and you, and themselves,
remember your arboreal roots.
remember that there are trees that survive forest fires with their lives but not their branches.
that same night you will see in the mirror how resilient buds can bloom through ice, and concrete, and self-loathing.
you will find solace in persephone.
letting a piece of you die each and every winter seems a fair price for the rebirth of spring.
i cannot say that this will be the last night you find a friend on their bathroom floor,
like a child with matches, trying to strike away the unruly sprouts that have taken root under their skin
i cannot say with confidence that you will never find yourself there either.
there will be more forest fires coming your way
like a child with matches, you may start a few yourself.
but, darling, spring is around the corner
you may be mangled and gnarled and knotted,
but i have seen trees engulf steel, and watched as flora took back abandoned gardens
i have witnessed oceans of grass shoot up from ashes,
there is nothing manmade that the earth cannot take back
the earth will take you back,
there is still green within you.
count the dandelions you find poking their cadmium heads through asphalt,
remember inhabitance is not a matter of comfort but a matter of will.
feel the ripe bud of growth in the soles of your feet.
remember there is nothing wrong with returning to the dirt.