When I was a little girl, littered with scrapes on my knees and bruises on my arms from falling off the monkey bars, my parents would take me back.
Once a year I set foot on Venezuelan soil where people had my colour skin and the streets were littered with the pungent perfume of plastic bag pointillism.
A landfill has never been so beautiful.
I used to imagine I lived in one.
A plastic bag princess, I scaled the side of my castle with bare toes sinking into black plastic. I relished in the squish of rotten fruit while avoiding the pricks of plastic forks and knives.
I wanted to take the shredded napkins and throw them in the air like a firework. The ashes raining down and landing on my unbrushed hair and sunburned flesh.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realized
a landfill is a sign of poverty.
Now I go back and the landfills are much taller, much smellier, much scarier, and much more sinister.
But a plastic bag princess once played on that castle, and in the distance
I still hear fireworks.