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My Dreams Won't Let Me Forget This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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People sniffle and whisper to their neighbor.
A stage full of black caps and gowns
and smiles,
a stage full of smiles.
I hear the click, click, click
of proud moms and dads,
I stand up, I don't want to miss it,
I watch as your name is called
and you walk, freely, happily,
to collect your diploma.
You lift your hands in the air, as if to say,
“I did it!”

I'm lost.
In this place where I should be,
I'm lost.
The bedroom-sized room,
the gloomy lighting,
the small metal doors:
where did they go?
You shouldn't be smiling,
and your eyes are too bright,
they should be closed and dark.
You should be pale and sickly,
your lips should be covered by a crooked piece of duct tape,
your chest should look like it was broken into
by a father who wasn't ready to say good-bye.
You should be lying on a metal bed,
my sleeping best friend.
You shouldn't be able to laugh,
you shouldn't be 18,
you were only 16.
You should be hogging the bed
I had never hoped to sleep in,
and stubbornly still when I say
“Move over.”

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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