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seventeen

i move in circles.
i merely chase the sun.
day in, day out
i trace a sphere around my wants and needs.

to embrace my passion
i balance ink against smooth paper,
like rubber against asphalt,
a controlled release of energy

it works like this: words beget words
as easily as love begets love
the giver and the receiver
become one in the cycle

?

this circle begins
with ascent into the unknown,
over burning hills
of piled hurts and desires

so i ascend,
gasping for new life to fill my lungs
exhaling my humanness,
my impurity

yes, impurity—you must know i am not clean
but neither am i forever stained.
when it’s over, stains will wash out,
sweat and so many words cleansed from my being.

?

but until then, i focus for a breath
on superfluous film,
and on matte pink,
and inspiration: a book.

i had touched the pages with reverence
and had seen my future written
in the lines of the print—
between their words, mine

then more words begin to collect like rainclouds,
a gathering storm
in my human brain
until lightning jumped between the neurons.

love risk learn, i hear
words flowing in my veins
living words, alimentary,
since the beginning

i can pour out but i can’t take back
like blood
i’ll give as much as i can till i’m faint
until i’m empty

?

consider:

love,
because i am a spark
and you are a match:
our fire will leave a coffee-brown singe

risk,
even wary of the uncertainty
of the wavering flame
and the potential for destruction

learn,
gather and create
until möbius ceases to meet
in the middle

and so i keep moving
i rush headlong at high gear,
like my spinning thoughts,
faster every day.

downhill, here, is no easier than uphill,
breaking the rules of physics,
of romance novels,
but i hope beyond the hills.

?

finally i stop for the rain.
realizing the futility
of trying to go further,
i rest. i let raindrops

soak me to the skin,
gently surround me,
dance over my upturned eyelids and
drip off my nose.

if you could see me, you
wouldn’t know
who i am.
the rain washed me away

she melted the bars and bricks
of labels they had given me
to build my own prison—
washed it all away

you wouldn’t have known me—
and neither would i.

i only know that i am seventeen,
and i know the taste of eternity,
of thunderclouds.
i know that it rains in heaven.

?
when i awoke the next morning,
i was warm, and dry,
but paralyzed with the fear that
it all had been only a dream



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