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The Shadow of Your Laugh

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I am invisible to your eyes,
But my essence flits all around you,
Like the twinkling of a fickle star.
I crescendo in your ears,
But no vibrating waves part my lips.
I am everything,
Consisting of all you are and all you’re not,
Yet I am nothing,
Except for what your musing makes me to be.

Cascading across your senses like a tumultuous waterfall,
A pleasing heat wave of peace,
You have no choice but to acknowledge me.

I get filled and broken
But I am also relished and savored.
I am a refuge for the overwhelmed,
An unseen crevice of sanity,
Mirrored by upturned lips that mimic it.

I am bittersweet,
Neither malign nor benevolent,
Murky or lucid;
My very existence is a contradiction.
I control and am controlled,
Pulsing across you like a second heartbeat,
So natural yet so surreal.

I can cause drops of liquid sorrow to race down your windowpane,
Pausing on the delicate tips of your eyelashes,
Then plummeting to trace the creases of your chin,
As your vision blurs the cracks in the molding
Until you can convince yourself it is just an eye
Weeping watery tears of frustration like your own.

Or I can startle awake the fluttering bird that is your smile,
Akin to awakening a hibernating bear from its long respite,
Or coaxing a bashful tortoise to don no armor,
Causing a wondrous, tingling sensation
To crackle and sizzle across your lips,
Like the dancing sparks of a wildfire.

I can become an insurmountable force if you let me,
A barricade that thwarts your passage,
Preventing you from leaving.
And denying all others entrance

Yet if you stand against me
I am easily conquerable.
I bend to your will
Like a pious servant to their god,
Crumbling like weathered stone.

But I will re-emerge,
Both when your sanity depends on my very arrival
And in the most inopportune of times,
Because I never truly leave you,
But wait in the shadow of your laugh to return.



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