The Future is Now

Sun, 07/10/2016 - 16:51 -- ssemler

Dear twelve-year-old me,
Wearing an outcast’s scowl
And bitterly drinking Sprite
On the bleachers at the middle school dance:
Picture yourself on the floor.



Not just any floor—the dance floor,
Tossing back your hair
And shaking some hidden groove thing,
Letting loose till you’re soaked in sweat
And your head is spinning with adrenaline.



Picture yourself as the first one up
When the song strikes a chord with your body.
Picture green feathers around your neck
Like a soft snake resting in a nest,
Crowning a belated party queen.



You may think I’m describing a stranger.
But the girl shaking it on a Friday night was me,
And we both know she’s you, too.
She and me and you are we.



You danced for two and a half straight hours
With eyes on you, and your step didn’t waver.
On all sides, men and women danced,
With men, with women, with friends,
And you adopted them all that night.
You were mere feet away from a drag queen—
Two drag queens!



Dear twelve-year-old me,
I know this sounds like science fiction,
Like a parallel universe that can’t be true.
I know you claim superiority to your classmates,
So you can mask your lack of connection.
I know you can’t shake the feeling
That there’s no place for you.
When I think of how we were,
I want to go back and hold you
And tell you solitude isn’t our destiny.



But believe me when I say
A party animal clawed her way out of you.
Believe me when I say
Those pre-teen pains won’t be forever.
You’re going to bring yourself back to life.
And you and I are looking as bright as our future.


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