I’ve Forgotten

a sparkly headband, too small for my head
a purple clock in the shape of a flower
a two-dollar bill, crumpled and deformed
a lopsided plastic hanger on the floor, thrown to the side
a lacey tutu with a large rip in the hem
a singular butterfly clip hanging open with overuse
a waving stick-figure scribbled on a scrap of paper

I feel as if I’ve stumbled upon a crime scene,
a memory far too hazy and distant,
with a blurry vignette on the edges
like an old film photograph, dusty and faint

I see the outline of myself as a child, the silhouette of a girl sprawled on her stomach,
humming and creating stories in her head,
ones separate from this supposed reality, ones where she is no longer a part of this hateful world,
imaginative fairy tales that only she would understand.

sometimes I wonder if I’ve lost my childhood completely,
in the midst of growing up.
is being an adult all that it seemed before?
now, as I witness only a ghost of my past, I realize that
perhaps it doesn’t even matter anymore, because I’ve already forgotten how it feels to be free.

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