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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seventeen

Tonight 
I washed off seventeen
Crumbled in the haze of apologies
scrubbing off the soot of insecurity

I found out my scars were temporary tattoos

Tonight 
I held a cat against my chest as I walked through TSA
Replaced my makeup with a
Sports bra and  lesbian haircut
and radioactivated the sun with the solar systems
 crawling out of my smile

Tonight 
I won't discover my beauty
in a dictionary or a magazine
but G-d refused to show Moses his face
to remind him the holiest is yet to be seen

And tonight I am holy
Tonight I compared myself to G-d
With the first poem that is not about
hating myself
Or surviving myself
Or swallowing myself

Tonight 
I am not a setting sun 
begging for another thirty pages
I am an Alaskan summer
the first southern fried northern light

Tonight 
I compared myself to G-d
Because I stole some wind
Crafted its flares into a razor
And shaved off all this seventeen
All this nervous sinkhole of apologies
All this long hair 
because he said 
he would sleep with me that way
All this silence 
because he said 
he could sleep better that way
All this hating other girls who were like me
Who didn’t acquire 
the taste for wordlessmess faster 
than the ability to sip warm beer
Tonight I compared myself to G-d
Because when she was seventeen
she probably sipped warm beer
at parties where no moonlight spoke to her
She probably got lost in all that darkness
And in all that eternity

When she realized 
all it takes is a hug 
in a crowded terminal
When mom cries she’s proud of you
To forgive yourself 
for all the people you’ve been

Tonight,
When you reconstruct destiny
Using chewed pencils 
and knee-high converse
You'll shudder as you contact memories 
and blooming tomorrows

When little you is large enough
To be everything 
they told you not to be

Remember, seventeen bellyflopped out teardrops of opportunity
It doesn’t matter how it ended up in your bloodstream
It is 92% percent water
And we are 97% clean
You will finger dust all the souls napping in your skin
At the diving board of 21
Your breath still bathes in rose petals

You will become become your own prophet
and drunk text the lightning

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Ariel is available and interested in anything creative!
For spoken word performances & workshops, web & graphic design, or other writing/film projects please contact via email at arielsob@usc.edu.
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