Conor Matthews
Jan 22, 2022
Photo by Tate Lohmiller on Unsplash

I’m locked in other people’s smiles,

To keep their bad times out of my mouth.

I can’t help not smiling,

I don’t hate like they love,

I’m just scared to be happy.

The hopeful disappoint hope,

Yell at the worried,

Mock the dead,

Slap the palms,

Beat the ground.

“Why aren’t you happy?

Who do you hate?”

They ask,

Echoing your head.

You go quiet,

Buried beneath questions,

You can’t help but think.

They are not dumb,

They are not foolish,

They just want to smile.

But their teeth crack,

Their jaws crush,

As you move too slow.

I feel chewed up by the grins.