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Shuffle

By , Mississauga, Canada
Every so often, I can see you as
you shuffle through
empty corridors, or
sit at the school-bus window in a
disconnected daze.
Your eyes phase in and out of this reality
into your fantasy.

Your ears are wired so securely…
surely you know that I can still
see you and your smile on your lips.
It’s as if you think you’ve fooled the world into thinking
you’re not here, and that
you’re all right.

And so you turn up that loud music so that I can
feel the baseline competing with your
flatline heartbeat.
I watch you change tracks with your eyes closed;
your fingers have memorized all those sad songs
on shuffle.

And you wouldn’t let me see your playlist, even if I asked,
because no one needs to know that you’re
attempting therapy.

You smile at me as you walk by…
as if I didn’t know that you were just
another person in the world on a daily sedative.

I think you’re trying to talk to me…
but I can never tell if you’re just lip-syncing lyrics.





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