Lost Girl

Updated: Mar 19

underneath my bed, lies the mementos of my sister’s childhood.

she is only going on eleven, but she is soon entering her second skin

like a cobra, slithering from one scales into the next

but she does not let go quite yet

instead

she picks up the stuffy, the unicorn paraphernalia

and tosses it under my bed.

not far

just across the hall



my bed, the unlikely graveyard for all the things we don’t want to say goodbye to yet

the

don’t let me go yet

the wait

but don’t you remember

the smells like laundry detergent

i see the irony

how we fit into the same circle

how all her hand me downs are my

don’t let me go yet

i had a much easier time dismantling the cogs of my own childhood

they were simply transferred to her

in their last stages they are coming back to me

hot potato

like a cell, dividing, dividing

back and forth, back and forth

enter g0

apoptosis

my nose twitches as i encounter dust

digging deeper

my arm, a straggler in the great canyon of all the things i couldn’t manage to pick on the floor


i am almost eighteen years old

but instead of looking ahead, i find myself peering back,

down

at my stuffed animals that are making a return-trip

a final hurrah at my feet

the magnetic dolls

the trolls

the paper houses that i fell into for hours

hours that meant different things then

hours that couldn’t be capitalized upon

hours where i spoke to no one

and lived inside my own head


i need to get reacquainted with analogue thoughts

but that still

feels like yet another item on my to-list

along with these toys on the ground

i sink down

how long has it been since i’ve sat on the floor like this

achieved equilibrium with my body

where is the time going?

what is time

if memories cannot be stacked and put into bookshelves

ordered alphabetically

retrieved in increments

these toys are allowances for a time i no longer have

my time is now investments


i am almost 18 years old

i am soon entering my second skin

like a cobra slithering from one scales to the next

but somehow this last skin is difficult to shed

it clings

like the fog that hovers stubbornly

like it hadn’t quite mastered evaporation yet


at heart, i am hoarder

my cabinets are all altars

to nostalgia

i like trinkets

and tchotchkes

and all those blankets, worn into softness

can’t you see how stories are embroidered

into the cloth

see, my sister chose the right refuge

because i am hesitant to let boats leave my shore

i am a memory-laden scylla of greek mythology


for so long, i have been an old soul

in a young body

looking forward and backwards at the same time

this is why the last scene of toy story

makes me sob

“promise, you’ll take good care of him”

can you promise that you’ll be back again

that goodbyes are always temporary

never permanent

that i am peter pan’s lost girl

sitting among the lost toys


under my bed is a newly anointed museum

preserved

i have not cleaned it out quite yet

there is still time

isn’t there?


(winner of a Gold Key at the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards)

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