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then it’s time to leave, at last
i sit in a thin leather seat at the airport,
looking through the huge windows that open out onto the runway
smooth feminine voices call out names
of people who have yet to check in for their flights
all of my stuff is tidily packed up,
boxes and boxes and boxes —
i won’t be back for a while

she’s already gone,
off to a snooty ivy league up north
she didn’t ask me to see her off,
and i didn’t offer
we used to worry
about what would happen to our friendship —
forever, we used to say
maybe forever can still exist
if we let bygones be bygones

i wonder if you’ve left for college yet
if you’ve left her, too
(push those questions down —
don’t need to know, don’t need to know)

for now i’ll go
start over fresh
in a university big enough that i’ll get lost,
stay lost
anonymous nobody in a sea of people
and perhaps i’ll be
the shy one
the popular bitch
the tomboy
the ice queen
the overachiever
the class clown
anyone but this version of myself
that i’ve played for far too long —
break the bars of the golden cage

one day, i promise
i’ll stop shoving everything down
i won’t be so vulnerable
to ideas of destiny
to best friends who don’t actually talk
to beautiful girls who change their minds
i’ll come back
and forgive her
and you
and myself
and let bygones be bygones


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