upon discovering an old polaroid that should have burned (20170913)

i stare out
of the instant photo grinning
in a dove gray tux
a formal high school event
one of two that i can recall

it is hard to look at myself
the me inside recoils
at all of that youth
at that smile

as with many old photos
this one has faded
in a dramatic fashion
along with most of my memory
of that night

my chest
alreadybleached white
is now a blistering snowstorm
a blizzard over my heart
that makes me doubt
that foolish cockeyed grin
plastered on another me’s face

was being happy that easy?
or was that the beginning
that moment when the damage began
the frostbite in the bones?

dove feathers drift down
and i am moving softly, slowly
practicing a display of teeth