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Cracked Paint

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I know you see all those ads every day
On billboards,
computers,
leaflets
You see them reflected
on the youth of today
The skinny jeans,
the low shirts,
The cleavage and the boxers
That’s what style is now:
Being the same as everyone else

But do you remember
That old, worn step?
In front of your house
The one we sat on together,
Waiting for the carpool?
Do you remember
That broken brick in the sidewalk
That you tripped on
And I went with you to the hospital?
Because I remember those things.
And they’re not new

I remember
When you and I
Put on our old worn sneakers
And ran and ran and ran
Until we were lost
In an unknown neighborhood-
An unimaginable world with pain and war and loss
And our mother’s came to find us
Those sneakers-
That dirty cloth-
They took us on a journey together
And they were different from the new converse
And UGGS
And we were glad we had them,
To lead us on and on
Into unknown territory

But most of all,
I remember that crack above your door
The cracked paint
That broke when you threw your baseball at it
You were angry
With me, with the world
You told me,
“How can I be your friend when you’re not pretty
And you don’t look like other people. You’re
A freak.”
And I knew what you meant
I wasn’t beautiful-
my scarred knees, my pocked face
But I also wasn’t fake
You just didn’t like that
Anymore

You left
Leaving me with a broken heart
And a broken door frame
With cracked paint
And I cried
When I looked at the chipped wood
Because it was the only thing I had left
Of you
And me
And our individuality
That we stood for
Together

So I write to you now,
After six long years
To remind you of our step
And our brick
And the cracked paint
That wasn’t fake
I still have my old sneakers
That I wore
The day we took our journey
And got lost in the unknown
Together

Do you remember the cracked paint?
The last angry memory
That you left me with?

Because I remember it
And now I am simply an empty heart
Frayed ends that have yet to be tied
Together




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