May 24, 2017

Poem: I Was a Teenage Moth

Me on the last day of 8th grade

I covered myself with plastic chains,
Rocks and beads, embroidery thread,
Glitter paint, and soda can tabs.
I wrapped my body in ripped jeans
And t-shirts stamped
With symbols of my tribe.
So cocooned, I pupated,
Relying on my outer shell
To tell the world
Exactly who I was,
Who I wanted to be.
Inside, I gradually developed
A heart, a spine, a prefrontal cortex:
Each new organ dearly bought
And painfully grown.
At last, I realized I had emerged
The day I found
Pieces of my cocoon
Neatly boxed up and put away
As mementos from a time
When I wore my inner self
On the outside.

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