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I know it’s taken you a while to uncurl
lips that twist and turn between teeth
that test and taste each word before creating
a carefully considered sentence you hope will meet acceptance.
I know how out of character it is for you to share
just a couple spare words that you didn’t prepare to share
hours before you got to where you had to pretend to care
about the kind of hors-d'oeuvres each partygoer preferred.
Do not hide how your cheeks flush as people rush
to tell you how quiet you are.
Your silence is not a license for people to assume this is a crisis.
When they tell you who you are, you are not obliged to hide behind “Oh, I’m just tired.”
No, you are quiet.
Whose eyes hold the vastness of the stars in the sky but is asked why she is so shy
by a man whose only try at getting her to talk more is to say
No, you do not have “resting b**** face” unless
the boy standing two paces away who has said even less today
and could go hundreds of miles without a single smile
has it, too.
True, you are not the life of the party.
You are the ears,
you are the scribe.
You are not hiding, you are writing
lines and lines of humanity behind your eyes.
Let your lashes rest against your cheeks and read
the seeds of life that have blossomed into a book
only you can see.
While you can define anyone with lines and lines from the encyclopedia behind your eyes, they
can only find one word in their minds to describe you:
Close your eyes