To the dearest of teenagers,

To the dearest of teenagers,
I love you;
I will love you as long as there is room on this crowded earth for my soul
To hover just above the mountaintops dipped in white icing
And to sink just below the petals of roses growing in the hands of a lover
Taut with emotion yet radiating passion.
I will love you and imagine you sitting right here beside me
On this ledge sprawling with ivory and worn with heartache;
I will love you and I will smile at my love for you every time I think of it.

Forgive me,
Because I love you for all of the wrong reasons:
For the feeling you had when you were two,
Blonde curls falling in perfect ringlets down the small of your back
Clothed in lavender cotton etched with little pink and white flowers,
Running wild and free across the playground in summertime
Past the bright red swings, yellow slides and blue monkey bars,
Because you knew-
You just knew-
That all you needed to move through the world
Freely and surely
Were your own two feet and your playmates.
I love you for the way that you thought you were on top of this big old world-
Four years old, never tiring, bright, blue eyes getting wider by the day-
When you were only at the top of the Ferris wheel,
Gazing at the crisp line where the ocean and sky intertwine;
An explosion of what is and what can never be.
I love how when you were seven,
Nothing mattered but ice cream and cookies;
How your friends were your friends no matter who they were or how they looked,
What they said or who their parents were,
Why they did what they did or where they came from;
How, just maybe, when you passed by someone unafraid of individuality-
Ruby red bouncing off their lips,
Tinkering bangles crowding up their arms,
A tattoo peeping out from their frayed shirt sleeve,
Slouchy, distressed jeans in a light wash hanging comfortably from their waist,
And a tribal satchel slung over their shoulder-
The thought of criticism hadn’t invaded your mind yet.

Wait.
Now you’re fifteen.
You love of the feeling of being outside of yourself
While burrowed like a mole-
Tragically blind-
In a room with not even a chair for comfort
Or a window for light and warmth:
Lacking décor,
Lacking essence.
In a room with walls so thick that you have made the brilliant-
Brilliant!-
Conclusion that no daggers pre-coated in red could ever break through and penetrate your skin
As they would in the real world
Under the influence of vulnerability,
When the sun is shining bright on your skin;
Rays of light flirting with the pigments on your arms and legs,
Bringing about the truth of your character.
Wait.
Now you’re sixteen,
Loving the way you think you’re on top of the world
When sitting on a roof top in a foreign city-
Grey and littered-
With glass bottles incarcerating your every move;
But wait!
Now you’re seventeen and,
Somehow,
You do care about every word spit about you;
Acidic and killing every facet of yourself that you haven’t depleted.
You do care about every sideways glance and misstep,
Every wrong word and shaky move,
Because each time you have an excuse to escape and abandon yourself again.
How far away have you been now?
All of the rough waters you have travelled across,
Silver fish jumping over the deep, green waves self-destructing,
Have eroded your spirit so much so that I can’t fathom you anymore!

Where have you gone?

Now you’re twenty-one,
And when there are no maces of a million barbaric spikes,
No clubs of splintered wood,
No Tasers, no guns, no handcuffs in sight to threaten you,
Straying so far away from yourself will seem acceptable;
But everything we consider acceptable isn’t right.
I love you, blonde hair blue eyes.
Call me selfish,
But walking into a house forty years in the future-
A small one down on Holly Road-
With mold and mildew clouding up the sides,
A tangled landscape, an unkempt porch,
To find you slumped in a ripped lazy boy,
Sporting a pot belly,
Yellow teeth,



An odor triumphing any perfume,
Dark and sunken-in under-eye circles
And short grey curls;
That just isn’t what God put you on this earth for.
You aren’t proud of what you have done;
I see it in your eyes as you are afraid to look into mine;
Hints of blue and green dashing hurriedly through the tense air.
I see it crawling down the lengths of your arms as they lay tightly crossed over your chest.
I see it in the bowls of tears you have left in the cupboards when I go for tea.
This-
This absence of pride-
Is this single thing that makes me fragment at your doorstep.
Tell me,
Tell me what you really want from life and we will make it happen.
You still have something special in you-
A capacity greater than I can measure.
That, is why I love you.





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