And there were days before the ones that
feel like this. I’m sure of it. I still have
the marks that come with not quite knowing
how to hold the weight of your body against
the world. There is, I think, a certain amount of
innocence that comes with being young. And
by young, I mean breakable. And by breakable,
I mean not already broken. Broken: my teeth.
I have chipped every inch of myself and now
I can whistle through the holes that my mistakes.
have left me. Do you miss my perfect smile? I do.
I have nothing more to give to you than what I have
now, and I am scared of all the space I take up.
I have grown two inches over the last summer,
my buzzing heart stretching to accommodate for all
the newness. I can not take credit for the change,
only what I have done with it. I swept the floor,
wrote my mother a note, told you I was sorry. I
am not the girl you signed up for. I am a telephone
wire, a piece of yarn, a necklace chain. I will
tie myself to yesterday and you will never be able
to bring me back.


In this poem, I wanted to explore the idea of what it’s like to feel like your innocence has gone away. Recently, I went through a breakup and have really just been working on convincing myself that I am enough, right now, as I am. Struggling with feeling like you’re not good enough for someone is real, and that’s something I wanted to play off of in this piece. To yearn for a past version of you is a heavy thing. To miss your innocence while also craving growth is a difficult thing. It’s hard, but I’m trying. Writing helps.

Maggie Wilkinson