sweet sixteen

i was sixteen and brand new,

or at least i wanted to be.

it was the only birthday that made me feel something–

a fleeting moment of emotion that was equivalent

to nothing i had ever felt before.

of course, the fifteen years prior to that weren’t bad,

but they just didn’t feel right.

sixteen was me.

it was messy and emotional but still trying and honest.

sixteen was full of

new things,

scary things,

sad things.


sixteen was traveling out of the country


for the first time

sixteen was crying about the uncertainty

that lived in my stomach and beat its way into

my head,

my voice,

my hands.


sixteen was going to a place i’d only ever dreamed of going,

and sixteen was having the time of my life there.

sixteen was losing friends and gaining trust in myself.

sixteen was almost falling in love and getting broken up with


it was learning that i actually fall in love all the time:

with music,

with friends,

with moments.


it was making art and writing words and

being too terrified to share them.


sixteen was much more than an age to me;

it was everything i knew and a little more.


i clung onto sixteen for as long as i could–

seventeen loomed over my glamorous sixteen and

threatened to take it away.


i am seventeen now and i am still learning

that i wasn’t brand new.


i was just growing.


i still am.

This poem is about: 


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