glass separates selves — this her! this Other! an
off-kilter smile pasted on comes quickly undone
the corners peel on a clothed mouth. looks
hungry for something, some just-swallowed bitter.
even when the masses laugh around you
fumbling with the newfound movement in their tongues
unsure how many words to allow themselves, to
crunch between too oft-bared teeth, too often
kicked back into bowed head. sacrifice rejected.
holy starlight ceremony, extended pantomime
of a body sparkling in a room full of flames
making easy conversation. surviving, this time.
existing without squeezing answers between outstretched fingers.