My life in pictures:
I am barefoot, half clothed under the blistering Iowa sun.
Water trough swim team, mud up to my knees, I am the master of my entire universe.
I am all tomboy, a fat lip, dirty fingernails.
Rough and tumble, hay in my hair, the world, as far as I’m allowed to roam without getting grounded, is my playground.
And then I learn loss. I am eight years old. I am the only child mourning, I didn’t have the words to describe that the pain others felt was palpable, that it felt like cinderblocks on my chest, like my breath wasn’t mine to breathe.
And now I don’t want to talk anymore, I sit on my bed, unmade for months, I’m silent and speak only when spoken to. I wear the same hoodie in every photo taken of me that year.
I take apart disposable razors in the shower. My entire existence lives there. I stopped smiling for pictures. Everything is underwater, sounds and emotions muffled and hazy. The only documentation that it ever existed is pale lines on my pale skin.
I am sorry to all the girls I once was, to the body that should’ve been a temple but instead I treated like a tomb. I am sorry to the hearts I trampled, to the expectations that I’ll never have the opportunity to fulfill.