Third Place… Anonymous Grade 11
March 4, 2020
Sitting idly in the backseat of the car
Felt no different on the way to put on a new skin And leave everything behind
Than driving to the supermarket,
Straight, roundabout, second exit on the left.
The Numb sat deep and purred in my chest when the girl I had lived with For six months sobbed on my shoulder, as if she
Were the one that would never again see the people she
became the first real version of herself with,
And I were the one coming back in a week and-a-half as short as a second.
Hearing the playlist I had carefully constructed for the plane Three months in advance didn’t make me cry
As I once thought.
Friendships fading into beige fabric, soon discarded or Thrown to the bottom of a drawer
Happened in the background of Life in the New Skin; Static crackling to a stop in a dim room nearby.
Sometimes I look into the small box in my mind that contains The uneven pavements
With eager blades of grass poking through holes
And the red walkway, the brightest shade of red in the world, Concealed in thick curtains of leaves.
Or the Water Bridge that belonged in a medieval kingdom, or heaven. The smell of the pond in the early evening,
Even the day when the sky turned pink.
They feel like a dream now,
Maybe they did even when I sat in the backseat of the car On that day,
Struggling to peer into the foggy future ahead,
The Numb sitting deep and purring still.