When You Talk, Your Jaw Turns Stiff.


I’m not an idiot.
I am smart,
And deprecatingly funny.

My intelligence, I tell myself,
Is not dependent on my understanding
Of chemicals or equations.
My intelligence, I remind myself,
Comes from a willingness to listen,
And learn,
And express,
And observe.
My intelligence, I assure myself,
Does not rely on the words of a bitter,
Broken thing.

As I’m harped on for stupidity,
I bet my fists can’t shake any harder.
When I’m chastised and immortalized
Because I don’t know what I’m not taught,
I swear my heart can’t beat any faster.

Maybe the fault lies not with me,
Who coins their own shortcomings,
But with you,
Who seems to be little more,
Than erroneously demeaning.

Yet as I know,
And see,
And understand,
That you do not define my competence,
I still have to faux-religiously chant
That I am not,
And will never be
A goddamn idiot.


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