the deepest nostalgia This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 24, 2013
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my grandma's house is my favorite place in the world
because i grew up there
believed in fairy tales there
lost my first tooth there
i remember the plaid couch because i lined up all of my teletubbies and smiled wide with my cat, chester, for a scrapbook picture
the laundry room had an iron-shaped burn on the floor that my grandma hid with her shoes
my aunt used to let me clean her room when i didn't feel like cleaning my own
my room was once my mom's, blue carpet, blue walls, brown stain on the rug where i spilled her afternoon cup of coffee
my happiest memories are there
in corners of rooms and embedded in furniture that no longer sits where it does in old pictures
my hideouts, my treasures, my world i created
parts of my childhood kissing wallpapers with roses and closets that were the best place to hide if you didn't want to be found
sometimes i take old pictures to be my own
i keep them in a place for myself alone
i hope my grandma wouldn't mind because they fill me with sighs and it's good to know i can still feel
i like the pictures of my mom when she was a kid best
she smiled a lot, she was happier then
i wish i'd known her then because things are different now
and she doesn't really smile the way she did in those pictures
sometimes i keep some of me when i was younger, too
pictures when i smiled like my mom
when i believed in fairy tales
and loved that damn iron-shaped
burn that everyone else called
when i hid notes in my aunt's
room with backwards “S”s and
crooked hearts
when i would blow-dry my dog and
not have a reason why
i know things are different now
i have all my teeth and fairy tales aren't real
my mom's always sad and stains don't mean anything anymore
that ugly plaid couch got replaced with a prettier green one
and i hate that i can't remember more
i don't smile like i did in those pictures
the iron-shaped burn is no longer there
i crave black and white days and mistaken ways when the worst that could happen was
a stain on the floor

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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