Regular Poem: Stalemate

9 Apr

There’s a malformed guilt–
the runt of the litter,
just this side of being eaten in the womb by its stronger siblings–
when I think of
how I think of
the name I call her in my head
that I know
shows on my face when I look
at her.

I know–
or I must remind myself–
she’s a person
with thoughts and feelings
and hobbies and loves
and favorite foods and pet peeves
and maybe pets, too.

But I don’t trust
that she knows the same
about me.

I suspect
she sees me as some other
words in her head
that show when she looks
at me.

I smile anyway,

when I’m thinking
and talking that thinking
into existence,
and our words collide in the air
thick with subliminal distaste,
and then we look at each other–
she’s wincing a little (I can’t tell why
[she might hate me more in that moment than any other
because I don’t think she knows why, either])
and I’m frowning or sneering (I can’t tell which
[regardless I’ve realized this is the moment
she’ll use against me later])
the room stills
and spins,
and I feel justified instead of guilty.

But that means she wins, doesn’t it?

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