is banging on paint-chipped doors,
with name tags and stickers that blur in front of you
before springs will be safety-tested and threads counted.
This is a diary written without a pen,
with exclamation marks spilling off pages
and capitals dripping from chapped lips.
This is a pot and a pan,
crusty with last week’s childhood favourite
housing rust thicker than the hair we throw off our shoulders
whilst batting triple coated eyes.
This is a hot house on a warm day,
with squeaky floor boards and cupboards
that haven’t reached capacity since day one.
This is a long-distance phone call,
where the salt in your eyes makes you miss the ocean
but not as much as you miss the voice on the other end.
This is a plastic mug that snatches your fears,
and a boy that grips your fingers
while you wear a shirt the principal would have sent you home in
only last year.
This is cotton by day and spandex by night,
where charcoal smudges come in bulk
and blisters grow increasingly fertile.
This is what seems like the conclusion but is only your inception,
where near death experiences become a way of life
and you scream just loud enough to remind yourself that you are alive.
This is where stains come in every colour,
and a lipstick print can become a masterpiece
when synthetic euphoria puts a brush in its hand.
This is high-heels in the middle of the road,
puke on the pavement,
flames in the kitchen,
snapping pencil leads,
stumbles and falls,
and broken hearts being healed and re-broken
all while your twin-sized bed back home lies waiting
for the girl who got Cheerios stuck up her nose
and the boy who couldn’t pronounce his “r”s until the fourth grade.
This is the time we will remember.
This is how we will define ourselves.
This is what we want to fast-forward until we look back at the greatness that unfolded and we would sell our success for just one chance to rewind.
This, my friends,
this right now,
is perfectly wasted youth.