Since nineteen


Rebecca Boese, Clemson University '20

Maybe being young is taking a polaroid picture of him

Eating a burger at Johnny Rockets

And going home and writing on it

In the dull glow of the colored Christmas lights you hung in your room

In black pen in the white margin below the photo: “1:48am, we got the munchies, he spiked my vanilla milkshake”

Maybe it is painting your Halloween pumpkin lavender and using it to hold the dying sunflowers you picked from your mother’s garden

Maybe its wondering why your heart aches so terribly when you see the wilting petals

Maybe its saving the bumblebee that accidently flew into your lemonade that you left out on the porch that July,

Because you knew what drowning felt like

And you also knew what being attracted to things so sweet felt like

And maybe being young is knowing these things

But not yet realizing that they often go hand in hand


Maybe it is before I left and he left and they left and turn left and wait no I left-

My soul on the other side of the wall (of youth)(of you)

And Lord please help me please find my spirit and speaking of Lord,

Do you remember that time I lost myself so hard and I

Didn’t know what to do so I drove around town and cried and cried and all I wanted to do was-

I didn’t know

So I went to the church

And I was so scared to go in alone

and I sat in my car in the parking lot for 25 minutes until I finally got the courage to go in and I did and it was so beautiful and

Holy water and candles and I’m saved

I sat in the back pew and sobbed (have you ever felt physical pain in your soul?) until I stopped but

At least I wasn’t alone

Thank you for reminding me I’m never alone


You used to believe that art was the only thing real in this world

You used to talk to the moon because it was the only one that understood

You used to paint your nails black and no one ever asked why

August nights and mosquito bites and pink wine and young skin and we danced through the forest and

watched the freight train go by and

watched our spirits hop on and

watched them wave goodbye

and fade into the distance

why would they stay with us anyway?

They must’ve known that time would devour us eventually, inevitably

This way at least, they will live on forever

And this is the only peace my heart has known

Since that night

Since nineteen