#2 paradise lost

and then it happened. by evening, they told us we were no longer

children. we could not chase frogs and follow their hop, wear pink

raincoats with matching boots and fake ear drops and the worst

was, from now on, our hearts would be kept in overnight jars to harden

in tomatoes and salt. only in acid and tang can preservation occur, they

insisted. for us, who skipped, why did we trade for a chewed up crayon,

was mystery, when we wanted to dream in pisces, speak with sage beasts, and

burn tongues in chocolate steam. life would be magic as an adult, they nodded,

just believe. so we learned the practice of peculating with striped suits and lost

our childhood, its friends and sugar cane. and never scraped an elbow again.

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