You Paint Your Nails Purple | Amber Hashmi

You paint your nails purple, 

Purple like the walls of your childhood bedroom,

Your childhood bedroom where you and your neighborhood friends spent hours playing with dolls, crafting elaborate storylines and character arcs,

The same character arcs from your games of House–

Games of House you played after blowing bubbles in the yard, 

Bubbles in the yard that wafted up to the sun, swirling with iridescent magenta and teal–

They look like maps! you all would say, That one’s Spain! That one’s Jordan! That one’s Costa Rica!

Naming all the places you wanted to go.

You use those places for your games of House and dolls,

We’re gonna go to those places someday together, when we’re big enough to leave here.

Well, we’re big enough now.

Ghosts of their memory irk at your periphery as you watch the little bubbles waft up, up, up towards the sun– and pop!

No more bubbles, no more maps, no more stories.

You paint your nails purple,

Purple like the walls of your childhood bedroom,

Your childhood bedroom you suppose you never really left.

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