Lavender Haze

by Ana Kusenberger


it’s all a lavender haze.


it’s returning to your daycare

center after you’ve retired

and finding that Ms. Mossman 

is dead


and you weren’t quite sure why 

you expected her to be alive

after all this time,

but it still stings


and the room looks 


and smaller.


you’re suffocating on 

fiberglass insulation

as your head 

shoves through the ceiling.


it’s lower than you



memory is 

a foul trick.

it alters all of your

life into 

a jumbled, 

larger than life,

fogged up,



lavender haze.


and you’re choking on ceiling,

and the haze is so thick

you feel like you are 


in a pit

of toxic nostalgia.


in a ball pit of your 

fondest memories.


but now,

Ms. Mossman is dead,

and no one can bring back

how small

you felt