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In last nights dream, I am 16 again.
I drive to your house and blast Don Mclean on the way, windows rolled down past the weeds.
It’s cold in New York and the wind sends chills through my skin, spreads across my face like ants through a fruit bowl.

This is 16 to me: driving down St. Paul Street at 9 p.m. on a Friday. My backpack and a bottle of rum in the passenger side. Guitar pick in my cupholder - you left it at my house last weekend.
The beach, bike rides, cornerstores.

In my dream, we play Mario kart and make friendship bracelets on your bed. We go outside to look at the moon - full, big, and bright.
She lights up the sky as if she were the sun instead, and outshines the whole small world.
You are the best of best friends and there is no one else I would rather be sixteen with.

In my dream, I drive back home around 1 and my mom is still up.
“I can’t sleep.”
“You never can.”
We drink glasses of water at the kitchen island and she doesn’t need to ask me how I’m doing or how school was because she already knows.

This is 16 to me: dried flowers in a vase leaving little bits of stem and leaves on the countertop. 4 empty cups stacked by the sink. My brother’s favorite kind of cereal in the cupboard.
The record player in my living room rattling out Billy Joel.

In my dream, I never turn 17, or 18, or 22. I worry about homework and boys and practice and I never leave my hometown and no one else leaves either. We all stay and pass around blunts and beer by firelight on the beach come summertime.
We talk about the weekends in hushed tones so teachers don’t overhear. I whisper in your ear during biology to ask if your sister will buy us more of that blue stuff.
We go swimming in our jean shorts and t shirts, because we feel naked and ugly in bikinis, and we dry our clothes out afterwards like raisins in the sun.

This is 16 to me: sunburns and splashing and laughing at our friend putting goggles on to protect her contacts. Sand stuck between the stitching of my car seats. Gravelly park roads and cicadas.

In my dream, I think I know everything and maybe I did.
I was young and stupid but I knew the important stuff:
How to hug your friends when they are sad,
How to start a fire,
How to find homework answers online,
How to tell someone you love them,
How to tell someone you don’t,
How to do eyeliner, How to style jeans.
In my dream, we both live in the same town we’ve lived in forever and neither one of us lives across the country.
I know all the streets names and they know mine.

This is 16 to me: Hugging my friends tight, knowing we only have a few years left. Linking arms through the mall. Shotgunning cans over the basement sink, laughing when we soak ourselves with white claws.

In my dream, St. Paul Street goes on forever but I still reach your house in under 5 minutes.
The road runs straight into the lake, past the playground and the sand and the fancy houses.
It is boundless and infinite, and somewhere,
in some other world, I am still driving down it.

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content
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The below is a computer-generated response from Neo, Neopoet's computer artificial intelligence:

The poem "Sixteen" effectively uses vivid imagery and specific details to immerse the reader in the nostalgia of youth. The repetition of "This is 16 to me" is a strong structural device that helps to anchor the poem and provide a sense of rhythm and continuity.

However, the poem could benefit from a more consistent use of metaphors and similes. For instance, the line "spreads across my face like ants through a fruit bowl" is a striking simile that vividly conveys the sensation of the cold wind. More such comparisons could enhance the sensory experience of the poem.

Additionally, the poem could explore more deeply the emotional implications of its narrative. While the details provided paint a clear picture of the speaker's experiences at 16, the emotional resonance of these experiences could be further developed. For example, the speaker could delve more into their feelings about never leaving their hometown or their relationships with the people around them.

Lastly, the poem could benefit from a more careful consideration of its pacing. The narrative progresses quite rapidly, moving from one memory to another. Slowing down the narrative and lingering on certain memories could help to create a more immersive and emotionally resonant experience for the reader.

Overall, the poem effectively captures the nostalgia of youth and the specificities of the speaker's experiences at 16. With some refinement, it could further enhance its emotional depth and sensory richness.

Please send feedback about Neo (our computer generated critique system) to

a certain kind of melancholy here,
yet a favorite segment of your life.
You hit all the right notes with the answers to unspoken questions;
the rememberance of your brother's favorite cereal in the cupboard,
and drinking water with mom at one o'clock in the morning, indicate
great connections to your family.

You did manage to ALMOST overcrowd it with so many things that you consider important
about those days, but not to the extent of needing more about anything.
I do wish that you had included a link to your best friend and sixteen.
~ Geezer.

There is value to commenting and critique, tell us how you feel about our work.
This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place.

Hi Geezer!
Thank you so much for the feedback! This poem was very much inspired by my best friend and how grateful I am to have been sixteen with her. I added another line or two to try and make that connection clearer so thank you for bringing that to my attention!


author comment

I see it now, Nicely done ~ Geez.

There is value to commenting and critique, tell us how you feel about our work.
This must be the place, 'cause there ain't no place like this place anywhere near this place.

Hello, MM,
What great memories of your life at sixteen! I realize the "you" and "we" throughout the poem are mostly a reference to your best friend, but I also wish it was a bit clearer that this was about your best friend specifically, and not mainly the age of sixteen. I really love the final stanza that begins with "In my dream, St.Paul Street goes on forever..." Very strong, and that final line is so powerful.
Thank you!

Hi Lavender!
Thank you so much! I added a line or two to make it more clear that this poem was heavily inspired by my best friend thank you for that suggestion!


author comment

I like your additional lines!

This made me stop and think of when I was 16. My life had been fairly boring till then but I started to awaken and live. Good write. Alex

Hi Alex! Thank you so much! - MM


author comment

Echos the sentiment in a famous quote The best years of our lives are the first 20… and the sweetest 16-you have defined by this piece. Thank you for sharing. The first beginning words were a little difficult for me.
I think I just can’t read I last nights dream huh
of course if it’s for a poetic device I am not tracking I am just a visceral amateur. Last night i dreamt that I was sixteen or something like that

Hi Tawny!
Thank you so much for your comment! That first line was a typo thanks for bringing it to my attention :)


author comment

In last night’s dream
Perfect loved this piece
Very memorable

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