Past Selves

Each moment of you past
becomes another ghost
haunting school hallways
woodland paths
summer cabins
your childhood bedroom,
every incarnation
a shade less innocent
than the first.

Every passing second
is assassination.
Every blow carved out
by fists
by hard falls
by edged words
leaves scar after scar
imprinted on your body
and if you lined up all of you in a row
the devolution might be enough
to bring your six-year-old self to tears,
your twelve-year-old self to sighs,
your four-year-old self might not even recognize
you under those layers of dust
and scratches.

A child is so unaware
of endings impending,
that every moment is metamorphosis
and she is constantly scraping away
pieces of a person that is moving on
to better things,
or older things,
attractive things
that glint like pyrite.

The girl in the yellow dress
in your childhood pictures
though she may look familiar
is an entity passed on,
stamped out,
extinguished,
and you are that which consumed her.
May you bring wisdom into the world
in exchange for the innocence you have displaced.

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3 thoughts on “Past Selves

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