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Lizzie Smiles

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There’s not enough happiness in the world. That makes Lizzie smile.
Lizzie smiles when she’s happy.
Lizzie smiles when she’s not. Lizzie’s smiles
mean nothing, because the only reason Lizzie smiles
is so you don’t have to; because if you had to smile how Lizzie smiles,
with her eyes crinkling and the cheekbones raised; if you had to fight how Lizzie fights,
you would have run out long ago.

Run out of things to smile about, of course

When things are happy, Lizzie beams,
though things make you mad because all your nightmares and shadows are creeping in on your warm sunshine, your happiness. Lizzie gets mad
at hers, too. That’s why she smiles
at your sunlight, it chases away her own nightmares.

We don’t borrow other people’s sunshine, we have our own,
so we try to scare away the scary things with our bare hands, but Lizzie has
no sunshine of her own. So Lizzie needs
a weapon.

But the weapon isn’t Lizzie’s to keep,
and when she’s alone, with no one else’s sunshine to borrow, Lizzie gets
frightened. And when she’s alone, Lizzie cries,
because she can’t fight the monsters. Lizzie can’t
fight the monsters without your happiness. So Lizzie makes
you happy, her only weapon.

So Lizzie laughs,
just for us, Lizzie smiles
at our happiness. Our happiness is her happiness. Her happiness chases away
the nightmares. Her nightmares make her cry. Lizzie smiles
so she doesn’t cry.





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