I want to be an adult but I don’t know what that means.
Or how it feels.
I’m still the same person I was ten years ago.
But I’m stronger and lighter;
More anxious and afraid.
Now I have things to lose.
I wonder if I can have adult relationships with my friends,
Or if they’ll always be a little childish.
We’re not kids anymore,
But maybe when we’re together we always will be.
Everybody texts me in a crisis.
People open up to me, tulips in springtime.
I treasure the intimacy,
But I don’t always say what I mean.
I’m the only person that I can tell everything to.
I have the words in my heart but my mouth traps them in a steel cage.
Sometimes when you tell people things, they go away— the things and the people.
There’s a gaping hole where they used to be, a wound that won’t close.
Sometimes I slice it open and let it bleed out through my fingertips and onto the page.
I want to let you in, but I need to keep you out.
All of this opening hurts— sometimes tenderly, sometimes excruciatingly.
I’m writing what I know, willfully ignoring how it makes me feel.
Everyday I look in the mirror and I hear things—
One day you’ll wake up and you won’t be beautiful anymore;
Or is it,
Everyday you’re more beautiful than the last;
Or is it,
Everything fades, especially beauty.
Maybe I’m reading too much, but I love the way it feels—
I’m everywhere and nowhere;
I’m myself but I’m also everyone else,
Jordan Baker says that life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.
I’m still parsing out what that means if you live in a place where nothing gets crisp, Besides the fish tacos and the salt off the sea spray,
And the hills after a fire.
How will my new beginning announce itself?
How do I know when it’s time to start over?
Maybe it’ll be October,
And I’ll be at the beach because here, it’s still summer.
I’ll lift my head and you won’t be there.
And I’ll notice, but I won’t,
Like all those things I vaguely remember that I’ve forgotten but can never name.
I’ll push my sunglasses into my hair and look around as if for the first time.
I’ll shrug my shoulders and push off my towel.
I’ll walk into the ocean until the Pacific gets all its brine into my pores.
I’ll look in the mirror when I get home and remark on the Pacific’s handiwork,
I’ll hear a voice that says:
It’s been you all along.