Tuesday, October 13, 2015

School photograph, 2000

A thousand tiny faces,
a sea of fixed smiles,
braced teeth,
terrible hair and what will always be
a moment in time.
For all the times I thought I looked okay,
a million when I didn't -
that day cost 24.99 of my parents' money
to see me and all the others,
masking future selves.
Fifteen years have passed since it was taken.
Time has glided by,
people in that picture have died since,
married, divorced, had children,
lost jobs.
It was the year 2000, and
Britney Spears was number 1 in the Singles Chart.
I taped the Top 40 off the radio,
like everybody else: press pause when the DJ starts talking.
Do you remember that a girl fainted?
The kind of thing that lives and breathes as school folklore.
But she did, and people laughed.
After it was over, we went back to our Biology class, for
dizzying, sick-making words like sclera, membrane.
Something about being sixteen where bodies just seem alien to you,
despite having one.
I wondered if I'd smiled when the shutter clicked.