Gossip

She makes it

          The best that she can

She holds it up

          Like cupping water

                   Keeping her cool

          And splashing cold numbness

                   Up on her face

                   Like a wall of protection

          Around her heart

Wake up

Make up

Take up

A mask

Of

do you love me

can you love me

do you see me

please don’t hurt me

today.

The underbrush is burning up

And screaming

At her ankles

As she dashes through the grass

Their sneers burn like fire

          In the underbrush

And their words

Sting

Like whipping branches

Of dark forests

          Where grey leaves hide

The tears inside

          Her sinking stomach

          And tightly shut eyes

Wake up

Make up

Take up

A shield

And a bouquet of

Wistful

Forget-me-nots

And posies and posers

She knows she’s no loser

But why do words bring

Such horrible fears

To such innocent

Ears?

Can she hold her head up

          Squint into their eyes

See past all the pride

          To see the heart inside

And love their lives despite

          Inflicted words that bite

Her nose and ears and eyes

          With twisted lies

And laughing eyes

          That make her feel she’ll die?

She makes it

The best that she can

She holds it up

Like cupping water

Keeping her cool

And splashing cold numbness

Up on her face.

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