To the guys who think showing no emotion,
either in their faces or their voices,
is the masculine thing to do.
To the girl in my high school gym class who wouldn't reach for the ball
"because I'm too small," she said.
To the woman who scolded a mother in public
for calling her son pretty,
Or to the man who--earlier this week-- thanked only my boyfriend
as we were leaving the restaurant.
I was the one who purchased that burger.
(And he didn't even bother look at me.)
Sometimes we make curtains,
a fabric sewn from words--
words intended to identify others and ourselves.
We like to drape them over our heads and view the world that way,
but what we do not see is how this affects us all:
in what we do and what we say.
There is a curtain in front of me, too,
but it is not mine to draw back.
I want people to see my fervor for learning,
my eagerness for sharing,
my enthusiasm for creating.
Why can't I be taken seriously?
Why does it matter if I look thirteen and not nineteen?
When I look at people, I see words, too
but I choose not to knit them together--
I just let the words float above their heads.
And yes, sometimes I do glance up,
but I always make sure to guide my gaze back
to what is most important.
The eyes, the soul
the person behind the curtain.