we were so young, so reckless, so angry.
at fifteen we painted our nails every day,
bit them down to the quick.
we found new bruises daily,
covering our elbows, our shins, our knees.

we owned the street, we decided,
and spent our nights racing down them barefoot.
we didn't care about the broken glass,
about the scars we were collecting.

we skipped class and slept all day for years,
swore up and down we didn't give a shit.
i got my first tattoo at eighteen and you held my hand,
expected me to cry, but i didn't. i didn't.

sometimes, still, i feel a twinge of sadness,
of regret, of nostalgia,
when i think of those days.
the six of us, screaming at the world,
daring everyone to fight us, to tell us no,
to make us care about anything.
we didn't care about anything.
not even each other. not even ourselves.

we don't talk, not anymore.
we go to jobs we hate and offer empty smiles.
our apartments are clean, our nails are long.
sobriety is cold, but safe, and our new friends approve.

yesterday i thought i saw all of you,
a group on the corner of fourth and sheridan.
i flinched, a shudder in my spine.
i don't know if we loved each other
or hated each other.

all i know is it has been five years,
and i am still afraid.