Oh, to be you again. To be eight, ten,
thirteen. To be secure in the daily invariables,
the there-then-back-again, the nostalgia
for something barely gone. Oh,
to ache for the future, and not the past.
Please, oh please, let me cut another snowflake.
Let me buy a cherry slushie
with my mother’s money. Let me fall,
but never fail, and let me learn again
that skinned knees heal. Let me recall the password
to my voice-locked journal. Let me sing again.
Oh, fuck, let me sing again,
and let the lyrics be too old for me.
Let my notes be warbling and counter-pitch,
and let nobody mind.
They never minded, when I was you.
LYDIA GOMPPER is a 2022 graduate of Princeton University, where she studied history and theater. She now works in sales at Penguin Random House, following stints as a bookseller and publishing intern. She lives in Connecticut with her husband.