To My Future Self – Gretchen Rockwell

Remember you made potions with holly berries, scrawled thick mud sigils on brick—built fairy houses just in case. Remember you took your coffee with cream and syrupy hazelnut sweetener when lattes weren’t an option. Remember the scones you dusted with rose sugar, the leek soup you made on your own. Remember how you tucked in all your shirts, how you chopped off your curly hair twice. Remember you always adored dinosaurs. Dear future me, remember the first time someone called you a bitch. Remember how you hid away and cried so your family wouldn’t see. Remember the spotted salamanders you saw so rarely, bright against the wet dark earth. Remember the way you felt when you stumbled down the stairs with a dog so sick she was shaking, the frantic drive to the emergency vet, how carefully you took the turns. Remember the inflatable shark. Remember games of capture-the-flag. Remember the summer of masks, remember the Broadway trips, remember the white tan line from the purple butterfly wristwatch you didn’t take off all summer. Remember the sun. Remember the grief. Remember to love me.

Gretchen Rockwell is a queer poet whose work has appeared in AGNI, Palette Poetry, Whale Road Review, and elsewhere. Xe has two chapbooks. Gretchen enjoys writing about gender, science, space, and unusual connections. Find xer on Twitter at @daft_rockwell or at

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