I cannot seem to leave her here


Jessie Warren

A photo I took around this time last year, when I was still overwhelmingly ecstatic for summertime.

For three circles around the sun, the sapphire glades and willow waters of summer have never given her reason to doubt.

As treasures always do, they have welcomed her and let her use them for her silly little metaphors about music and adoration. 

They have contently rested at the bottom of ravines and encircled her in love when it came time to dive in, 

And she has always been one to dive without protest.


Around this time last spring, she sat on her bedroom floor soaking in Harry Styles lyrics, and even though she has ended up back where she started, there is a part of this that feels different.

It feels like something she will never be able to repeat.

Something that may never feel as heart-wrenchingly resplendent as she does as her kindling heart strikes against its match strip. 


She is clinging, possibly perpetually, to whatever this has become—whatever she has been able to turn this into. 

And even though her calloused hands twist and ache and her tear-stained blankets hang wind-stricken off of her clothesline, there is something about this ambiguity that has become comforting.


Just some of the people who have single-handedly added technicolor to this otherwise awful year. (Sophie Young)

Because she doesn’t know what will happen when the sunrise doesn’t meet her in the windows of her Geology class.

She cannot comprehend what she’ll do when she has to say farewell to her emerald green chair, 

Or what will happen when all the books are back on their shelves, and she’s left alone to wait. 

There is a fraction of her ignited soul within the yoga mat she will part ways with and a sliver of her intellect that will forever try to wiggle its way from the carpet floors of her history class. 


Two of my favorite people, Lynlee Derrick and Meggie Kennedy, celebrating Meg’s birthday, despite the Michael Cera cake being lopsided.

She is growing, and with each day, “Ribs” by Lorde becomes a bit more real.

Despite all that she told herself—all the minor promises she wrote on colored paper and slipped away—she let herself make an impact. 

And even though she will always doubt the true power that her words hold,

She has let herself depend on the “I’m proud of you” notes and thank yous that sing like a symphony around her.

She cannot imagine her life without them, and the gold that they’ve tinged her year with has turned it into what it’s become.


She is dependent,

And with her dependence comes a dismissal of the sapphire glades and willow waters.

Because nothing…

Nothing could be as beautiful as this year has managed to become.