I lose Anne’s diary,
though I haven’t lost her.
I keep her words away, yet they stay
like jasmine in winter.
Stars hung on her walls like she hung on my mind,
since the age of seven, or maybe nine.
When I looked at the pages of photographs,
I brought them so close they blurred.
Her family is walking, but they’re stilled by a flash.
Seven nights of nightmares, of only this;
accompanied by destruction’s sharp pitch.
The next day,
she’s shrunk in size at the school’s book fair.
I was horrified.
I did not know she could be simplified,
her words filtered.
Why would anyone want to get to know her like that?
Though my judgement was misdirected, it missed to skewer my carelessness,
because I lost her after that.
I was eleven
when I got my second copy.
I didn’t see it fall behind the seat of my father’s truck.
But I saw it pressed between corduroy-like seats and a small wall that felt like the coarse fur of a mutt.
Bubble gum wrappers were on the floor.
I looked at the diary, at her face, wondering if I should—
I got out of the car,
I couldn’t sink into a twist,
so I left her behind.
I regret that.
I never saw the diary again.
I don’t know where it went.
I-I-I-I-I-I—do I deserve a third copy?
She is still around.
In folded moments of folded memories holding
folded bodies unfolding
in confidence to Anne.
Header image design by Orly Zebak.
Orly Zebak writes, designs sets and costumes, and makes art in various mediums. Her work seeks to challenge conceptions of female performativity in relation to womanhood, girlhood, and coming of age stories. In her spare time, you can catch Orly gardening—usually in her very comfortable off-brand crocs.
Orly earned her M.A. at the University of Toronto in Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies.