Taper This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

May 20, 2013
Back when my hair was still lit
wiith hues of candle tongues
and whispers of caramel candies
I wanted to grow up 
and live in a mosaic castle
With clothes of silk and 
rings adorning each small finger. 

It never occurred to me that
Princes in shining armor
and fairies that granted wishes
Existed only in the sleek pages of 
story books lined on my shelf. 
In my 5-year old mind,
A throne and crown
Could be waiting just blocks down 
from my own, boring brick house.

When I entered the place
of blue plastic chairs and laminated pages
My dreams of queens and princesses diminished
and my head was instead filled with 
Alphabetical nonsense and 
words pronounced differently 
than they really looked.
It all seemed so silly back then.
Why would a person
ever wish to contain so many babbling numbers and 
criss crossing letters that soon enough
Fairy tales would end up squashed in a closet and
wishes that were all so serious at one point 
suddenly evaporated? 

My hair tapered and a strong, thick wick
threaded into different shades of brown
curled around my head. Thoughts of princesses
subsided and I was left in a state
Of not-wanting. Not unwanting, just
Not wanting. Nothing called to me-
I was simply a girl playing with mud pies
And hammocks of rope and 
Summer night splinters. 

Night came and I was swept away 
in my own clutter of disassembled happiness and 
crumbling plaster. My hair burned 
into a heated sizzling mess of dissolved wax.
The black dripped and crawled its way down my neck, 
scalding my fermenting skin, 
leaving imprints of its inflictions singeing my body. 

From morning gold to 
afternoon maple to 
midnight black 
I burned 
until my entire self resided 
and became the nothingness of a scented candle, 
the millimeter of a twisting wick, 
the outline of melted wax. 

Today had finished and 
Yesterday was dead and
Tomorrow tasted 
Years away. 
The fragrance of fire 
turned out to be
far stronger than a schedule of 
Unrelated weeks with 
Conjugated days and
Hypothetical predictions 
Of next month's meetings. 
The paper would curl 
In the mouth of orange tendrils
And I would relish it all as it
Went down in flames. 

Join the Discussion

This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

haley101 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 26, 2013 at 5:57 pm
i love this phrase: "From morning gold to afternoon maple..." I'm really interested as to how you found inspiration for this piece, and could you share that with me? i'd love it if you commented on my work too, and shared some of your good advice.
Site Feedback