“Lost” by Saanya Ali


On the corner of Lex and 53rd is where I found her.
She was there with the stale Starbucks cup from the angry morning bridge and tunnel rush.
She was there, on the street next to the solitary Spiderman glove dropped by a distracted 4 year old walking to school, light up sneakers and rolling backpack in tow.
She sat there lonely with the disgraced receipts on the left most corner of 53rd with the rest of her lost companions…
the character filled broken sunglasses
the pretentiously professional initialed cuff link JG,
Blocks away from where I left her but still clean,
White and intact.
She was never marred by a wayward splash from the rush-hour, rainy-day, loafer-donning, foot-traffic, And her brain never poisoned by the foreign curse words shouted out of cab windows.
Innocence is a fickle friend.
She stays with you when put in a situation where you are obviously weak and confused.
She is the
That results in your way-cooler-than-you friends silently mocking you, but she renounces your hand the moment you make a mistake, ashamed to associate with such a culprit.
The moment you know how a volcano works or how to hit a vape she tuts her tongue and her gaze changes from apathy to disgust.
Every mistake is a stain on the white dress that she wears,
The one you used to don proudly,
The uniform of the naive.
The mark of teenage rebellion manifested in a spontaneous piercing is a crack in the holier-than-thou pedestal that she puts me on with the rest of the overachievers and the goody-two-shoes and the children and virgins.
She expected me not to change.
She expected my name to again become synonymous with ‘too nice’ or ‘always there’.
She expected me to never show cleavage or to kiss a boy…
To never chose going out over a movie night in…
To never get a B…
So I left her.
I dropped her on the street one day, bored of her bossiness and judgmental glares.
She was debilitating, impeding me from being who I am or rather who I could be without her.
I now have Conscience.
He was like my second best friend.
My backup if my innocence fell short.
But he didn’t come with a ball and chain like she did.
Conscience and I had known each other for years but he was in the shadows.
My friendship with Innocence impeding him from sweeping in.
He took her place,
Becoming my new love,
Replacing my former best friend.
His patience paid off.
He came with a second thought and a pause button for my impulsive-adrenaline-seeking nature but no glares or punishments.
He doesn’t judge me.
Instead he looks out for me and keeps me safe straying me away from scary situations but not from mistakes.
He knows I need my mistakes.
I am allowed to grow out of that white dress because it is just frankly not my style.


Poems curated by FORTH poetry editors.

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