I Used to Know This Place | Teen Ink

I Used to Know This Place

May 18, 2018
By CurrentBell SILVER, Brookline, Massachusetts
CurrentBell SILVER, Brookline, Massachusetts
7 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

I took a bus back yesterday to
this old town that holds my secrets
inside a porcelain box like baby teeth:
I passed blocks of neon-smeared sidewalks
danced upon before curfews,
fields that smelled of marijuana
every Lord’s Day and the day before,
the cinema’s unlocked fire escape,
and the playground’s wooden pirate ship
where I last pressed my shoulder to yours.

In my palm I feel for where the boat’s
chipped porthole left a splinter
somewhere below my left thumb,
before the absence of hurt
can hurt more than the hurt.
You told me then how things
always find a way to the surface,
holding my wrist just inches from its pulse.

Your laugh now dissipates inside the deli
where I got my first summer job,
I see you blurred into faces running errands,
and late for morning conference calls—
I’ve lost this town. These buildings
are no longer mine to inhabit; the
granite walls might rightfully say they
cannot remember my name.

But in the yellow glow of your porch
as I fold myself back into my own life,
you lean in to remind me
how very wrong I have been: that
a face can always remember a face, and
the past is only as far as the skin is deep.

The author's comments:

A piece about coming and returning home.

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