you are the quiet one with the name the substitute can't pronounce

you don't correct his butchery, you don't even raise your hand

silence coils around your neck, a tangible creature restricting your breath

so I announce your existence for you

I've never seen your teeth

they are sacred pearly treasure revealed only to those who have earned it

you collect worlds

I've seen you scribble away in your notebook

slowly, carefully, with you neck bent

I know the color of your eyelids better than the color of your irises

how many worlds have you created?

you never let them get farther than your fingertips

will you show them to me?

I know they are sacred


I've never seen you crack

not even when the bug-eyed boy sits next to you in class

and covers your notebook with his hands

he wants to unhinge your jaw

split you open like an oyster and harvest your pearls before they're ready

you try to eject your thoughts from your skull and you glitch

there's a disconnect deep within

rusty vocal chords stutter to a staccato beat

your words are being shoved through a juicer

they leave behind a wet pulpy mess

silence tightens between gasps of breath

you clamp your mouth shut, let things simmer inside

you hold your tears in, don't let them show

because they are sacred


you are the quiet one with the worlds in your head

I know some days you feel at war with your tongue

and every voice in the room makes you feel smaller

but I want you to know that you are not the creature around your neck

you are not a rusty pair of vocal chords

you are not a wet pulpy mess

you are a mighty goddess

and you have no need for idle chitchat

your body hums with creative energy louder than a room full of human voices

with every exhale you unleash coherent constellations

too intricate to be translated into the common tongue

don't be discouraged when they can't speak your language

nothing about you is broken

be gentle to yourself,

because, my darling,

you are sacred



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