"Preserve your memories, keep them well, what you forget you can never retell."
-Louisa May Alcott
Life In Purple Pen
I will never go back to that time when I was weak. When I was stuck in fitful bouts of repetition, and when failure became a blunt sword. I was pricked and stabbed so often, it created scabs that could never be broken, but the jabs still took my breath away.
“Anything below an 80 is a failure.”
They threw me in the fire, but I forgot how to burn. Flames licked at my torso and lapped at my flesh, yet nothing fazed me. Somewhere in the back of my mind, buried under spells, potions, and useless words, were instructions on how to smolder. A guide book on letting the inferno masticate your aching body, and the rules to the catalyst for a more effective combustion. Yes, I had been charred and blazed so long that I simply forgot how to reignite.
“This is the third 60 in the past two weeks. You’re passing, but just barely. I expect you to come in at break and make it up.”
Sticks and stones may or may not break my bones, but words will always hurt me. Those sickly letters and acidic sentences created cracks in my armour. The punctuation and grammar was shrapnel. It exploded in my chest and lodged itself in my brain as millions of shards of glass. To this day I am still bleeding out. My heart is filled with lines and fissures, cracks and bruises; all because of the self-doubt and continuous defeat.
Even Simon is better than you.
You’re cheating, what a horrible, awful, person.
You’re lying, I know you didn’t study. You’re such an idiot, you think you can get away with your chronic lying shit?
Hah, aren't you suppose to be good at English? Haha. You’re a joke.
Lies, all lies. You can’t do shit, you’re just a fucking moron. What a poser, you’re not gifted at all.
I cry ugly tears of equations, word problems, and interpretations. They stream down my cheeks, more corrosive than sulphuric acid. Parts of my stinging skin roll off with them. Splashing on the floor as big red x’s and stupid mistakes.
Do you never learn?
When We Were Here
Where did we go?
The home of rhymes and colours is gone
Replaced by routine and things as they were supposed to be.
Our stomachs, once sugar-filled
Are poked and prodded
A bleak cavern of dark space.
In the gloom before aching sleep
there are thoughts of life
problems in the world and problems within myself.
Longing for those times
When nights were spent reading a favourite book
Under the blankets
A secret flashlight in secret hours-
Remember those velcro shoes
Those falling-out pigtails and chocolate covered lips.
Now runners are out of fashion
Every strand of hair is rigid with chemicals
Lips are coated in cherry paint
Five-thousand pounds of it.
Where did we go?
I miss the days of rhymes and colours
Sugar-filled stomachs and books
Velcro shoes, easy to use
Pigtails and disheveled looks.
I miss when we were here.
Remnants Out of Place
Copper coins used to clutter her change purse,
A hideous thing her mother’s-aunt’s-friend bought her when she turned five.
While her older sister would flaunt rows of neatly lined tens and twenties,
She’d be comforted with the fact she’d never run out of penny-promised luck.
Her sister ran out of luck one day—the car slid across the crosswalk and her sister soared across the sky.
Fallen eyelashes, shooting stars and dandelions wishes never made her sister leave the hospital.
She tried to give the nurse her jar of pennies in exchange for her sister,
But the lady just gave her a sad smile as though Death didn’t accept change.
Now, her wallet carries rows of neatly lined tens and twenties,
Paper bills worth more than her childhood penny wishes.
Because when her sister went still and her skin turned pale,
Copper coins were worth nothing more than a cent.
One of my most distinct memories comes from grade one.
We had to fill in a worksheet (about what I have no idea). I had finished my work exactly the way she wanted it, feeling exceptionally proud. I also happened to be the first one done, so I thought of what I could do to improve such a wonderful grade one masterpiece. The best answer: decorate. Using my favourite colours from my collection of pencil crayons, I decorated the top right corner where my name was, trying to make it look like the neon signs I saw on TV. I had just completed my wonderful work when my teacher walked by. In the blink of an eye, my masterpiece was in her hand and dropped in the recycling bin in the corner of the room. She then placed a new, untouched worksheet in front of me.
“No one cares about the art,” she said. “They care about the writing.”
I think that’s one of the reasons I became a writer, not an artist.
Ms. Jane is furious. “Who wrote that swear word on the chalkboard during lunch?” She walks towards me and stops in front of my desk. “Was it you, Mr. Ennis?” My classmates turn around in their seats and stare at me. I stand up and reply. “Of course not, Ms. Jane! How could I ever do such a thing to my favourite teacher? I promise it wasn’t me!” She rolls her eyes and tells me to quiet down and take a seat. I wipe the chalk dust off on the sides of my pants as I sit myself down.
Mrs. McCracken misspells “phenomenon” on the chalkboard during her geography lesson on natural disasters. I raise my hand and correct her. “It’s spelt P-H-E-N-O-M-E-N-O-N. You missed the second E.” Tommy high fives me. Mrs. McCracken turns red. She sighs, picks up the chalkboard eraser and corrects her mistake. She continues her lesson, and misspells “tsunami” as she goes. I don’t correct her this time. One missing “e” is enough embarrassment for today.
Tommy taught me what “the finger” was last week, so I practice it at recess. I show it off to Benny when he asks to play wallball with me. From across the yard, Mr. Hanson spots my gesture and directs me to the principal’s office. Mrs. Vick scolds me, but I pretend that I have no idea what “the finger” is. In less-than-crude terms, she explains it to me, tells me never to do it again, and hands me a cherry flavoured lollipop. I skip out of the office and make my way outside.
Mrs. Able, the oldest substitute teacher we’ve ever had, shuffles up to the front of the class to take attendance. She wrinkles her nose, adjusts her horn-rimmed glasses and begins calling out our names in a raspy voice. “Armstrong.” Here. “Catt.” Here. “Davidson.” Here. “Ennis.” “Absent!” I raise my hand and shout. The class laughs. Mrs. Able looks up from her clipboard and squints her eyes. “Out, Mr. Ennis.” She points at me and directs me to the door.
Seven Years Old
Years before she dropped out of school and started staying out late, my sister was who I wanted to be with all the time. We cut our doll's hair off expecting it to grow back and doubled up our mattresses to play cheer leading.
One day, we were told to watch the garage sale for a few minutes while Mom got more change and Dad got us water. Naturally, being the ten year old she was, my sister immediately came up with the best of plans.
"Alright K, if someone tries to steal something, you hit them on the head with this hammer."
I nodded and dutifully took the offered weapon in hand, ready for action, but I had to ask, "Why do I have to hit them, why not you?"
My sister looked me in the eyes and said, "I'm double digits now, if I hit someone, I would be put in jail. You hit them if they try to steal and I'll get Mom and Dad, OK?"
A Parent's View
Jumping to the moon,
Being a ninja,
Baking a cake tall as the Eiffel Tower,
Riding across the desert on a kangaroo,
Building a rocket in the backyard,
Being Superman’s sidekick,
A child’s imagination.
I remember the day
I felt your eyes on me
Piercing through me
I was in love
I loved you
I remember the day
We went out together
We caught your favourite film
You bought popcorn
You wanted it your way
I remember the day
We were married
Silk and satin
We said our vows
We kissed our lives away
I remember the day
We had our first fight
You yelled at me
I cowered in the shadows
I forgave you
I remember the day
You hit me
The bright red scar
Flaming on my skin
It never truly healed
I remember the day I left
I ran out the door
Suitcase in hand
You were asleep
I was free
I remember the day
I signed the papers
I shoved them in the mailbox
Running away quickly
I was finally free
Reignite the Spark
I don’t have many memories, good ones at least. They just haunt my dreams and sit in the back of my head, laughing. Everyone I know has chimed in at some point, friends, family, random people I don’t know. I fall asleep in class because I can’t sleep at home. I’m too busy lying in bed, eyes flying around the shadows, my guard up, ready for what might be waiting.
I was sick of it; I needed to do something, so I left. I knew no one would notice anyways. I took the bus to the train station and dumped all my money in front of the clerk, just enough for a one way ticket. She asked me where I wanted to go but I had no answer. I stood there like an idiot. She called security who informed my parents. When they came to pick me up they said that they had been looking for me everywhere, but I could tell they had no idea I had been gone. They drove me home in silence, the worst kind of ride.
Since that day a therapist started coming to our house to talk to me, I never bothered to learn her name. She asked me questions, too many questions, more than my head could hold. I tuned her out. Once when she came to talk to me, she sat me down at the living room table with my parents. Her suggestion was that I make a friend; not just any person though, another person ‘like me’. My parents agreed, and a week later, I met Marissa. She was also fourteen, and apparently had been going through the same chaotic scene I could never get out of. The first few times we were together silence filled the room, but gradually we started chatting and sharing stories, soon enough we became friends.
By the time we grew to be sixteen, we had each other’s back. We were an unstoppable force not to be reckoned with, at least in our heads. We had a saying: They can never put us out. When I was going through rough patches I would repeat this to myself, and somehow the syllables would lull me to sleep.
Time could both heal and hurt, and it decided that we were due for a hurting. She moved away and it wasn’t as special when she wasn’t there in person - she just became more vapid pixels on a screen. I fell back into old habits but I was better at hiding it, so my parents left me alone.
When I turned 18 I got a crappy job and paid for my crappy apartment and my crappy food to sustain my crappy life. I had my resignation letter trembling in my hands as I stepped into the office, but it fluttered to the ground, forgotten. There, in my boss’ office stood a girl: her long brown hair and gleaming green eyes could only belong to Marissa. I couldn’t believe my eyes, only last night I had been talking to her on the phone, but there she was.
She turned towards the sound of the door closing, and noticed me. She waved awkwardly, and I waved back, just as awkward. My boss, seeing us, beckoned me over.
“Uh, yes sir?”
“Why don’t you show Ms. Walker around our building?”
I slowly nodded my head and we left his office. I asked her why she was back in town, and she blushed, admitting that she had wanted to move back for a while, and didn’t know how to tell me. We talked as I showed her around, and I could feel our old relationship coming back.
“So… Ms. Walker...” I laughed.
“Call me Marissa, dumbass.” She giggled.
“Okay, okay, Marissa...”
“Do you... do you want to go out for like, coffee or something?”
“Are you asking me on a date?”
“Are you gonna put out the flame?”
“Nah, never. They can never put us out.”
The next day we took a walk through the park. The sun was shining and the birds were singing, it was something out of a movie. We laid down in the grass to look up at the clouds. A comfortable silence fell between us. A grin spread across my face, and I looked over at my date. She smiled back at me then we continued to stare at the sky. I was so happy, I couldn’t believe what had just happened, I took it as a sign. My good memories were coming, I could taste it. I felt invincible, euphoric. They could never put us out.
What About Me
Does he hold you like a piece of glass?
Do you melt under his tender gaze?
Do you shatter beneath his touch?
Or does he burn you up with a thousand feelings,
Ignite your heart?
Does he make you smile
Does he make you feel alive,
Feel at home?
Is he worth it, Mom?
Do you ever remember you have a daughter…
A girl you used to cradle in your arms
A girl you used to kiss goodnight
A girl you said you loved.
Can’t I be your tree?
Can’t I be the light in your life?
Am I not enough to let you stay?
Do you think of me,
Like I think of you?
Do you cry yourself to sleep every night?
Or am I just a distant memory?
What about me?
When I was eight, and we barely had enough, my dad took me on a bike ride to Grasshopper Park. The sun was setting behind us and our shadows stretched and twisted on the bumpy slope as we pedaled along the trail. We reached the top and watched as the sun sank to its knees behind the trees to the west, the sky a kaleidoscope of colours. My dad suggested we pick some milkweeds, so we waded into the tall grass, frightening a patch of starlings that were roosting by a tree. We gathered handfuls of stems, plucked off their pale green pods and peeled them open, blowing the seeds into the sky. They danced on the wind, fluttering like birds as they spiralled higher and higher into the clouds. “Look!” my dad said, and pointed to my left. “There must be a hot air balloon festival in town.” There were dozens of them rising from the trees, each one different from the next. A dinosaur. A teddy bear. A spaceship. I waved as they floated past, and one time, someone waved back. My dad sat me down in his lap and we watched the balloons drift over our heads, stained pink by the setting sun.
My mother is like a bomb
that you know is going to go off,
but you never know when.
A shell so hard that you don’t know if
she loves you
she hates you.
A tragic childhood
that filled her with hate
and made her hurt the ones she loved.
She speaks of blame and betrayal.
I don’t think she knows what she does.
She thinks I’m useless;insane.
She tells me all the time.
She doesn't understand how badly it hurts.
She’s supposed to love me.
My father is like a magic act,
disappeared and never came back.
He’s like a shadow
but never really with you.
Just part of the background.
I wonder if he knows my name,
or my age.
I wonder if I’ll ever meet him.
Maybe he’ll never know how great I turned out.
Or how horribly.
My mom thinks I’m the bomb,
but I’m not.
I am simply a black hole
wallowing in my own misery
just so I can ignore the world.Or maybe so I can blame it.
I buried myself six feet under,
ignoring the cries of the life I would lead.
I pushed everyone away,
and put up walls
to block the pain,
but it also blocked the joy.
Everyone else is wrong.
But so am I.
My fingers brush against the smooth texture of the papers, pausing only to flip the page or pick up another calendar. My frantic searching stops as my eyes rest on the calendar in front of me. I thumb through the months; my heart dropping when I don't see the red star I needed so desperately. I looked through the months again, this time noticing that October had stuck to September. I pry them open and scan. I stop at the star. October 17th, 2011. I wipe my tears away with my sleeve and touch the date with my pointer and middle finger. I breathe out, carefully clearing my mind. Warmth is spreading to my fingertips. Wind whips at my hair. Leaves are rustling. I don't have to open my eyes to know I'm not in my room anymore.
"Annika!" shriek's a voice I haven't heard in a while. I whip towards the sound. Shannon stares at me intently, a mischievous smile playing across her lips. Just as I remember it.
"Wanna check out the maze?" she asks. I want to laugh. That will always sound like a fun idea. My 11 year old self, however, thinks otherwise.
"Mrs. Rupert said we need to wait for the other volunteers to arrive before we go in!" I hear myself say. "Oh come on," Shannon whines, "don't be such a teacher's pet." "I'm not a teacher's pet!" my younger self yells. Shannon always knew how to get to me. "Yeah?" responds Shannon. If I could control my body I would smile. There was only one way this would end.
"You know what? Fine!" my younger self grumbles. We march off into the maze when our teacher isn't looking; abandoning my former classmates and our fourth grade field trip for something much, much better.
As soon as the day has ended and my 11 year old version of myself rests her head on her pillow, I feel a familiar pull. My escape is over. I open my eyes once more to find myself sitting on the floor of my room; surrounded by a tidal wave of calendars. I try and get them in order, glancing the notes and stars that littered the pages. A new date jumps out at me. It's surrounded by arrows and stars. July 24th, 2013. Maybe next time.
I still feel the warmth from the memory. I lie down on my bed and face my bedside stool, where I keep my current calendar. I uncap the pen and scrawl "Visiting day" on today's date. I re-arrange the picture of my best friend that lies beside my calendar. It's been a year of missing her. I still miss her. I have the memories when it's hard, though. I stare at the photo. "See you next time, Shannon." I whisper as I drift off.
A task I cannot do is drag all thoughts of you
kicking, screaming, out of my head.
Erasing our memories
is like picking my teeth
I sleep alone
gnawing, biting, tearing,
at bleeding nail beds.
Because loving you
means writing letters
I know I'll never send.
Play my ribs with
sticks and stones,
of skin and bones.
Life is a puzzle
of 'yes's and 'no's,
stepping over puddles
Ghost and lover,
neither warm nor cold,
which will you choose,
x or o?
she dyed her hair blonde to get away from him
she'd been a brunette when she stared at him,
she'd been a brunette when she longed for him,
and she'd been a brunette when she broke her heart.
she didn't want him anymore.
so she dyed her hair blonde to get over him,
to start a new life without him and his drama,
and he watched her grow
a tender blossom trembling under acid rain
and after it all,
he still preferred her with brown hair.
Maybe if we close our
Eyes hard enough we can pretend we remember
Moments that we've altered unknowingly
Over the course of our lives. Every time our brains
Replay, revisit a memory
It gets changed, and is stored in its crooked version. In the
End, we’re remembering falsehoods, and all we are left holding on to are
In the moments, she didn't know she felt the way she did–her mind was numb, her heart beating at the same pace, her breathing regular. She couldn't reach into herself to find out whether it was anger or pain or sadness, it didn't feel like any. In the moments to come, she got random snippets of a scene in her head, attached to a strong scent. The scent was affecting her, she knew, because her heart always started beating faster, her lungs able to carry less oxygen, her shoulders caving in. She did little anxious motions without meaning to do little anxious motions. Finally, her epiphany, was that some memories were not meant to be thought about, or even recalled. They should be tucked away beside the useless information, to never be seen or heard or talked about.
Some memories, if remembered, twist her intestines. They have the ability to crawl inside the most sensitive part of her brain and plant their eggs. But she tucked them away, beside the things she need not think about, beside panic, and the useless facts. It's become such a regularity that now she can't remember faces and names.
The frayed edges of a photograph. Bright smiles yellowed with age. Her blue eyes sparkle, matching his grey ones. On the surface the couple seems happy, like everything has finally fallen into place. But pictures lie. They do. They really do. Unsaid words float behind them, colouring the picture with distrust and tension. The other thing about pictures is that they don’t tell the whole story. They don’t tell you that after the picture was taken he was shoved away by her and the yelling started and continued for many hours. They don’t tell you chaos was tainting their first love, allowing the darkest part of their souls to climb out of the murky depths, exposing their true selves.
August 10th, 2009
My parents immigrated from Iran in 1998, one year before I was born. They told their friends and family that they wanted their kids to have more opportunities than they had. They kiss them goodbye and board the plane to a country that promises them freedom.
I was born three months too early. I've been told that as soon as I was pushed out, a bunch of doctors rushed me to the NICU before my own mother could see me. They told my parents that the chance of me living--even surviving--was very low, only 2%, but that they would do everything that they could.
I was what some people like to call a miracle. I prefer to call myself lucky. Two days after my birth, I was able to breathe without a breathing tube. Doctors from all over the province had flown in to see what they called, “the star child”.
My astrological nickname was given to me because apparently it took too much effort to actually pronounce my name (both first and last) correctly. My parents quickly learned, that if you don’t have a generic name in this country, they’ll give you one.
It’s six years later and it’s my birthday. I go to school in my new clothes that I got from my aunt. I’m excited for lunch because it’s my birthday, and Mom’s packed me some lavashak. I can’t wait to get to school and show my friends.
It’s now lunch time and I pull my lunch box out. “Guys, look!” I take my lavashak out and raise it high in the air.
“Ew, what’s that?” Naomi asks, from the back of the class and she points at my favourite dessert.
“It looks like poo!” Cameron yells, standing beside me. The rest of the class agrees with laughter. I put the lavashak back in my lunch box and ask the teacher in the hallway to go to the washroom before anyone can see me cry.
My mom asks me that night why I didn't eat my lavashak. I tell her it was because it looks like poo. I ask her if I can bring something normal to school tomorrow. Naomi brought banana bread, why couldn't I bring banana bread? My mom sighs and brings out a cookbook that we borrowed from our neighbours, and looks for a banana bread recipe.
Mrs. Josephine's Dance Studio was always cold in the summer, like a dog's nose pressed against your thigh. I went there, near the classes, listenin to the music, they got violins and drums sometimes. Tap tap tap. Some rooms had louder taps, real sharp and crisp that reminded me like construction sites outside Grandfather's window. I didn't sit near those rooms, with hard shoes and metal clicks, but light an soft, padding, tap. Mrs. Josephine had yellow hair like a banana, and wore pink or white. She was pink. She stayed extra long, the little girls with fluffy skirts had gone and she would stay, dancin and dancin. I wish I coulda but I'm too fat. Even when I was short I was big, no way to twirl without knocking over the potted plant outside the dance rooms, belly poking out of Grandfather's shirts.
She threw something in the garbage, one day she did, all mad with her yellow hair loose stickin to her face sweaty. I pushed over the can turned it all inside out it was a shoe. A ballerina slipper. It was white. It wasn't much bigger than my hand, but even when I was short I had big hands able to cup birds and two or three kittens. I stuffed it in my pants so Grandfather wouldn't see it but he did, told me to take them off show him what I had. Even then he wasn't strong, but he was mad told me it weren't right, pulled it broke. But today I still got the ribbon, the ribbon that wrapped around Mrs. Josephine's tiny ankles like they made of glass, so fragile I coulda snapped them. Even with my hands so big, they was small.
I remember fragments of things. A voice maybe, a touch on the cheek, a smile. But never faces. Faces are difficult. Faces are personal.
I try to forget the things that clutter my mind. The thoughts that prevent me from remembering the important stuff: my phone, my keys, my incomprehensible math homework. But my mind leaks equations, clutches shards.
“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from wandering…”
Take Only Memories
Wakefulness Brings No Clarity
Sometimes I wonder
If my dreams are memories
Or if my memories are dreams
Creepy crawly things
My psyche dripping like a sponge
Pulled from the bottom of a sink
Sitting in the corner of the room
No dolls or cars to play with
The man yells at me
He paces paces paces
Mom breaks up with him
Later that night
I was five and she was an old soul
A garden full of flowers
My grandpa on his hands and knees
He has a heart attack in the middle
Of the gardenias
Grandma yells for him to come inside
I was eight
“I’m going to drown myself in the bath
I’m going to drown myself
You don’t care what happens to me”
He grabs my arm too tight
Maybe it’s panic maybe it’s something else
I want him to kiss me
He doesn’t kiss me
I was eleven and he was my step-brother
She asks me why I’m so anxious all the time
I tell her I don’t know
We both know I am lying
At least we aren’t paying her
To listen to me ignore the truth
That’s what insurance is for
I was fourteen and drowning
But not in the bath
Looking over his shoulder
As he presses his lips harshly to my neck
My vision blurs
I think of her
He tugs on my breasts
Kisses around my mouth like he can’t find it
I stop him when he yanks on my shirt
I think of her
I think of all the different girl-type people
I’ve ever wanted to kiss
I don’t want to feel like this
I am only seventeen
And I feel all grown up
I am only seventeen
The sponge keeps on dripping
Like it doesn’t know how to grow old
My memories turn to dreams
And my dreams turn to memories
Creepy crawly things
I keep on trying to figure things out
A fan whirs next to my desk. My palms stick to the glossy pages of the textbook I’ve been lying on since the class began copying notes half an hour ago. I look up at the sound of Ms. Hammond swiveling around in her chair. Her face is pasty and covered in sweat. “Kate,” she gasps. “I’m not feeling very well. If I faint, run to the phone and call the office.” I nod dutifully and return to my textbook pillow, looking up every five seconds, just in case she faints and I have to save her life.
I huddle beside the fence bordering the school yard with a bunch of kids who are already too-cool-for-school; each of us dares the others to step off school property. Lisa pokes me in the shoulder. “Bet you can’t run all the way to the second tree!” I jab her back. “Bet I can!” I check to make sure Mme. Belanger’s back is turned before jumping over the fence. When I reach the tree, I scrape my fingers against the tree’s trunk, getting bark under my fingernails, and race back towards the school. I clamber over the fence and smirk at Lisa. “Your turn!” Her eyes widen, but she heaves herself over the fence anyway. She lands on the other side just as Mme. Belanger turns around. She stalks towards us, yelling Lisa’s name.
The principal calls me down to her office. I rap one knuckle against her door and fiddle with my bracelets. The door opens. Amin and Tarek are sitting next to each other in stiff, wooden chairs. They look up as I walk in, identical expressions pasted across their faces. Mrs. Bright, starts questioning me about the fight yesterday at lunch. I sit up straighter. “I wasn’t at school yesterday.” Mrs. Bright glares at Tarek, who looks down and mutters that he thought I was there. I take my time sauntering down the hallway, hoping to miss the rest of French class.
I invite Julia, Rebecca and Caitlyn to an open house in my ice fort at recess. We hide behind the ice walls and pretend that we live in an igloo. I push my toque out of my eyes and peek over the wall. The playground is deserted. We clamber out of the fort and race across the school yard. I yank off my boots and snowsuit before sneaking across the back of the classroom and slipping into my seat. Julia, Rebecca and Caitlyn come in five minutes later, soaking wet and talking loudly. Mr. Cayen halts his lesson and gives them each detention for a week. The next day, Mr. Cayen compliments me on my ice fort and my impeccable behavior in the classroom.
MADE FOR BIG MISTAKES
Ryan flings insults and Goldfish crackers at me across the classroom. I duck my head, tucking a loose strand of hair behind my ear, and examine a doodle scribbled on the corner of my desk. Ryan yells something rude and a bouncy ball hits my left temple. My vision blurs. I grab a pink eraser - “Made for big mistakes” - and hurl it across the room. Ryan sees it coming and ducks. The eraser crashes through the empty glass aquarium on the windowsill. Shards of glass fly through the air and cover the floor. Mr. Forget bursts into the classroom, demanding to know what happened. Ryan groans and rubs the back of his head. “Sorry, sir, I hit my head against the tank.” He meets my eyes as Mr. Forget rushes him to the nurse’s office.
Leap on Stage
Canterbury Yearbook '81
The Emotional Effects Of You
The sky is not falling, but there is a problem that needs addressing.
Pain is usually hidden at the outset,
but it often lingers,
To emerge long after the debris has been cleared away.
The initial shock -
A stunning sense of astonishment and terror,
Is followed by euphoria at having survived.
Elation dissolves rapidly in the face of reality and depression.
It will never again be the same
I will never again have what I had.
Phuong Nguyen (quotes by Lana Del Rey)
“All my friends tell me I should move on.”
cold tea, leftover brie cheese, lipstick stains.
“I’m lying in the ocean singing your song.”
headphones, tangled sheets, gray sweater.
lace curtains, fairy lights, black combat boots.
“That's how you sang it.”
porch swing, sunsets, daffodils.
“Loving you forever, can't be wrong.”
polaroids, vinyl records, pearls.
“Even though you're not here, won't move on.”
crumpled letters, dog eared novels, spilled ink.
neon letters, flickering lamps, granite countertops.
“That's how we played it.”
ashtray, matchbox, gold watch.
“And there's no remedy"
shards of glass, spoiled milk, empty Advil bottle.
wine stained carpet, slice of cheesecake, chlorine.
“Your face is like a melody,”
alarm clock, shaving cream, guitar.
“It won't leave my head.”
navy dress shirt, hair gel, cuff links.
“Your soul is haunting me”
fists, dial tones, open window.
“And telling me”
velvet dresses, sirens, steel bars.
“That everything is fine”
gunpowder, smudged eyeliner, red and black flannel.
“But I wish I was dead.”
Chanel No.5, diamond ring, pink nail polish.
“ (dead like you) “
aviators, bath salts, credit cards.
“Every time I close my eyes”
crystal chandeliers, revolving doors, elevator buttons.
“It's like a dark paradise.”
alleys, graffiti brick walls, smoke.
“No one compares to you”
maroon dress shirt, hairspray, belt.
“I'm scared that you”
balcony, skyscrapers, traffic lights.
“Won't be waiting on the other side.”
Canterbury Yearbook '79
Thank you to everyone who submitted to this month's Spotlight!
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