For 18 year-old me

By Ilisha Thiru Purcell

Horizons on your fingertips and a paint-palette sky

look up.

Days scrunched into the hours of late mornings

let go.

Music that makes your hair a halo of frizz

dance often.

A coastline that ripples like your thighs under his open hand

it’s your body.

People who would give you their nerves and memories if they could

text your cousin

who would stay up to wire another’s heart in hope of fixing your own


A family, webbed like string-hoppers, tossed from heart to mouth

learn amma’s tongue.

Laughter that dissolves everything except the present moment

breathe fully.

A love that warms cold fingers and speaks in every sense

say his name.

A future that looks nothing like your past

turn the page.

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