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I.
Whenever you wanted bubblegum,
Your mom wouldn’t let you eat it –
Just hold it there in your sweaty palm
Until it undressed itself there
A hollow little egg
Your pale hand stained with red cherry blood

And sometimes you thought that maybe,
(If you waited),
Maybe that little egg would crack at the seams
You would watch
As a cherry-bubblegum bird stretched its wings in the sugared air
Testing them
And escaped against the Technicolor sky, finally free

All for twenty-five cents.

II.
And then there was that phase you went through
Where you used to load up your pockets with little white stones,
Your reasoning being that, if you found enough quartz
You could make a clock big enough to bend the centuries
And become the world’s first time-traveler
At the age of seven.

But it didn’t really work,
Because when you turned eight someone told you
That it wasn’t quartz in your pockets after all.

You realized then
That you didn’t really want to be a scientist.

III.
And in an old Altoids box there are
One,
Two,
Seventy-six buttons,
The kinds that come with new clothes
In case the other ones fall off.

You don’t remember why you still have them
Because the reason escaped when you opened the drawer,
Drifting like a dust mote on the stuffy, autumnal air,

Drowning in the equinox.

IV.
Paper lies in layers,
Scars resting on faint flesh;
You ruffle through them,
Perhaps expecting to find some long-lost,
Long-dead skeleton of memory
Like the bones of some withered dinosaur –

But nothing is there.
The drawer slams shut,
Scaring the past to sleep
Curling up in layers of possible universes

No lullaby waits for the infamous.



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This article has 16 comments. Post your own!

cmiley_freaky said...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:56 pm:
OH MY GOD.
i cannot emphasize enough on how much i love this!
and i love how you divided your poem into four! reminds me of eliot's preludes :P
 
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm :
Thanks so much! I'm really glad you enjoyed it. ^-^
 
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LifesIllusion said...
Nov. 25, 2011 at 7:34 pm:
This story felt so real to me that it was as if I was the little girl looking back at all of my memories from my childhood. I love all the detail and your word choce:) 5/5 stars
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 4:44 pm :
Thank you so much! :) I drew from my own odd childhood for a lot of this.
 
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Lexie96 said...
Nov. 4, 2011 at 9:11 pm:

oh, I love this so much... and I think it's really relatable because I think we all have times where we go back and look at the memories of our past... I know I do :) Great work, seriously.

Do you think you could check out my poems sometime? I would love to hear your feedback.

 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Nov. 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm :
I'd be more than happy to read your work! :) And thanks for commenting on this.
 
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Sarajustine said...
Oct. 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm:
This was really good! :) I love the last line—very, very good ending. Great job!
 
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PaigeStreetThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 17, 2011 at 2:10 pm:
Holy cow this is fantastic. Very excellent, painful, powerful, nostalgiac, and brutal. I am very impressed. 
 
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IreneEYtonKratzThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 15, 2011 at 7:29 pm:
WOW! This definitely deserved the editor's choice :-) Very mature. I loved it!
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 16, 2011 at 8:14 pm :
And you do mean "mature" by "refined" and not "explicit," I hope? ;) Thank you!
 
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SagaLiSela This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 8:22 pm:
Wonderful. This piece is universail, but also unique. I love the images you create; they're so familiar but still, beautiful.
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm :
Thank you so much! :) And actually, all these things happened to me.
 
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sunny.all.day. said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 8:36 pm:
I loved the imagery and all the different things we collect over the years. I think we all can relate to this :) Except I think the numbers before each item just distracts the reader a little...
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm :
Yeah... that was just something I was trying out, the numbers. I saw it in a literary magazine and thought I'd see if it worked.
 
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Kvothe28 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Oct. 11, 2011 at 5:21 pm:
I really enjoyed reading this. As a cherry-bubblegum bird stretched its wings in the sugared air. That was my favorite line. Awesome. And congradulations on the editor's choice. =)
 
StrangeJadeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Oct. 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm :
Aw, thank you. ^-^
 
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