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Poetry

The Memory Box

The cells of the human body completely regenerate themselves every seven years.
I have died and been reborn twice over.
The intangible corners of my mind mimic
the worn out shoe box that sits in the deepest corner of my closet.
When I open it, I see the toys I played with in my past life.
I’m six years old again, when the only thing that mattered was
my sister playing Barbies with me,
and that my doll was the princess.
I see an old diary from when I was ten.
Problems that once felt like tsunamis,
ready to obliterate me quicker than the time it took to blink,
now barely seem to form a puddle.
Everything in the moment feels more significant,
more catastrophic.
A postcard from my trip to Barbados brings me back to my thirteenth year.
I’ll never forget the water.
We kept finding sea glass on the beach, and it’s funny that something so beautiful
could have been created from a broken bottle.
I unearth gifts from the former friends who have outgrown me, and I hope that
their roots won’t trip anyone else.
These memories remind me of how far I’ve come
but also how long I have to go.
My mind is growing inwards,
cultivating inside of my body, developing who I am
and who I will become.
Sometimes this hurts, and it’s important to know that
growing pains aren’t only felt physically.
It hurts a lot to grow, but it hurts much more to shrink.
I keep my memories tucked away in a box to make room
for who I want to be.
I’m growing.

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