When I’m 5, my sister is 12.
She plays Super Mario World,
sitting on her bed and I watch,
content. I watch her nimble
fingers press the buttons, watch
little Mario jump on the Goombas.
Clear the gaps in the 2D earth.
When she gets to the end of the castle,
the princess is not there. She’s always
never there. When I’m 5, I never see
the end of the game. My sister stops
playing with me around. Switches
to other games. Stops playing
games all together as the years go on.
I don’t see the game again
until I am 18, my sister 25. I
am alone in the childhood living room
we left behind ten years earlier.
The music is the same, the pixels
still in place, but everything is different
with the controller in my hand.
I play with caution. Making the jumps
exact. Aiming for Goomba heads
with precision. I want to play it right.
But I game over just before the finish
of the third world, unaware of the time limit.
Candria Slamin is a recent college graduate from Virginia, who is trying to find her place within the writing world. Candria has taken to poetry to explore the intersections of her life. In her spare time, she is busy being a nerd on Twitter at @candyslam_.