I walk to my closet / and take out / the memories / lay them on my bed / like a coroner / giving an autopsy / i’m filled with graphic t-shirts / i have too many / i need to get rid of them / get rid of the weed i have watered so faithfully / need to make sure the roots haven’t reached my consciousness / i’m still young / i can be tilted to face a different sun / i’m growing / i’m still in the shade / i hold my hand out to check the weather / but the water could just be my own sweat / i make believe that there is a sun that is guiding me / the sun illuminates the heap of clothing / i’m sifting through the cloth to see if there is an oasis / the color palette is disorienting / i must control the colors / guide them throughout adolescence / i believe that maturity means giving up on old beliefs / holding onto faith. / faith that i’ll know where i’m going / holding onto faith with so much aggression that it needs to build its own support system because i need too much attention. / in my hour of self-reflection i wonder why i can’t wear everything i own / maybe my closet is too large / i’m returning my memories / carting them off to charities / i hope my memories make new friends / i hope i’m not around to see everything come full circle / everything i used to know is placid / i cannot be original / i am tainted. / the blue dress. / the black skirt. / the pink shirt. / no charity i give to will ever trade me back my old memories to keep me warm in the winter / to return to when i feel overloaded / when all of the washers and dryers are loaded / the only option is waiting.
–By Ella P., 16, Bellevue, WA