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There are days when I only feel eighteen.

There are days when I wake up crippled and stained, and that’s just my heart checking in.

There are days when I look up only to see miles and miles of white patterned black and sticky notes and missed phone calls and I’m so stuck.

Fuck, the days when I am told no.

When I am questioned and criticized and bluntly told “No.”

Days when regardless of my pitch or the fire on my back, the training wheels spin.

I have to fit in, to watch the giants before me because they know best, because they’ve been there and done that.

And I only know of here.

Let’s make one thing clear, you made it cause you’re young and fresh and bold, so you’re told.

But that’s it.

When you’re eighteen, you are ready, but you’re not.

You are expected to deliver but then told that you can’t.

You are too naive, too hopeful, too unscratched by life’s emptiness and mockery.

Oh I could be.

Well you can’t.

And that’s just how life is.

But if you let me, I will try.

No I can’t.

What do you know.

But I don’t.

I don’t see the smudges or cracks or sit still.

I don’t see hills or bridges nor hell.

Well I do.

But there are days when I sit in pieces, and as I stretch I let them see that my tiny fingers too can make these fragments whole.

There are days when I stand and my feet tiptoe just enough for them to peer at my inked canvas.

The one from the dollar store after school.

I look just as cool in this tangerine blazer.

Below these pedestals I need to earn.

When will I learn?

That there are certain ways,

But I already am.

I am learning

I am already learning.

There are days when I march, chained boots, stripy socks and all.

Because there are days when I am only eighteen.

Wide-eyed, burning and silly.

And this I believe, is enough.

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