Sweet Sixteen

by Olivia Bardo

It was never like the movies.
Never an emergence into a place 
That was teeming and alive.
My liberation.
A vibrant overture.

It was never pink.
Never a glowing silence.
Before bursting light.
Silence glowing.
Silence bursting with light.

Maybe it was the candles tilting
Into a paste tasting like shortening.
Where was my magic, the sensation
Of taking one more trip around the sun,
Celestial being that I was?

It was January.
And I should have known I would be here,
Beautiful and tragic,
A fleck standing on the edge of a globe
Dragging me gingerly toward the coldest stars.

For my birthday, I think
I’d like a scarf.

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