Author’s Note: A month ago, I made the decision to get bangs just a week before my 21st birthday. I’ve always strived to be ‘older,” “cooler,” and ‘wiser,” and this felt like the first time I did something with the intention of seeming younger rather than older. I went back to the style I had in kindergarten at an age where I was granted all of the privileges of adulthood. This haircut feels rejuvenating- I love the bangs and the youthfulness they represent. This poem is a response to this juxtaposition between youth and adulthood that they represent to me.
I got bangs just like my 6-year-old self displayed on picture day
My sister once told me that you don’t need bangs
You just need therapy
I thought I’d be grown up by now.
I paste a quote I read from a book on my wall:
“We are crayons and lunchboxes
and swinging so high
our sneakers punch holes in the clouds”
I play dress up
mixing and matching everything I have in my closet
in hopes of finding an Instagram-perfect-but-I’m-also-not-really-trying style
I play make-believe
and with careers
My driver's license turns
from horizontal to vertical.
I refill my bus card.
I drank the water in the vodka bottles
I had filled up
when I was 16.
I need a dose
Of my past
Of childlike wonder
Because birthdays after 21 only make you want to be younger.