on the enigma of your smile This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
I could never quite figure out your smile
too-white teeth hidden beneath full lips
the lopsided grin of your eight-year-old self
knocking on my front door
can you come out to play?
the one with lips stained red with
Kool-Aid that I could never drink
red lips sitting under a pert little nose
white with Noxzema, lovingly painted on by
mothers still living in the sixties
I could never figure out your smile that
lit a room, set it on fire
fueled by your
head-thrown-back hair blowing in the wind -
Chapstick-coated lips - open - laughing out loud ...
your "I am fifteen and beautiful with flawless skin,
limitless possibilities, and I don't give a damn
if the world doesn't like me - because
I am young and free and gorgeous" kind of smile
I could never figure out your smile
the Formica smile, firmly fixed on prom night
while you developed an instant rapport
with every too-drunk he-man in the room
the smile you smiled while I watched him
creep his hand under your too-tight dress
the smile that was betrayed by amber eyes that wondered
how you ended up here, how you came to be in his car
the red Toyota with foggy windows
that hid your eyes from me
I could never figure out your smile
the smile that told me lies I wanted to believe
of kisses that lingered somewhere
between June and July
and love that was rarely true, and never fair
I could never figure out your smile
that faded all too quickly away
washed away that night you
told me good-bye and walked into the rain,
with a smile
and eyes that betrayed you once again
or was it just the rain?
I could never figure out your smile
but I always understood your eyes



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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