Poetry: Counterfeit Menagerie

You look at me and see my face.

You judge, you decide

Don’t even know the color of my eyes

You don’t know how to really see

If you can’t see my misery

You look on the surface where the game begins

My smile, my nods, my exuberant within

The game is one I’m down to play

It keeps the questions and confusion at bay

You talk and laugh at your own wit

I smile with my mouth while my eyes want to spit

This fraud, this counterfeit menagerie

A simple display of emotions I let you see.

But you don’t. You don’t see me

To see me is to be disturbed

To squint, and smirk, and let out a nervous “errr”

To uncomfortably shift weight and grasp at your bag

To look around for an easy escape

I show you my fear of simple things

Of lines, of crowds, of just being seen

Of wind, and noise, and social events

Some days I forget to bathe and pay my rent

I show you how it feels when you talk to me

How my temperature goes up and I start sweating

I show you my heart pounding in my chest

I show you my anxiety over failing your test

I show you my panic to find something to say

I show you my exhaustion at the end of each day

You now refuse to even look up from the ground

That ground I know so well from keeping my own head down

So what would you do if you really saw me?

I’m terrified to know, so I let you see what you see

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