clenched teeth.











that’s how my words fall from my teeth,

a gritted, unforgiving porcelain filter

when others listen to me.

each carefully chosen syllable,

each hand-crafted letter,

each sewn-together sentence


to  position my lips

to move my tongue

to pull my vocal chords

in the precise dance that will

make my speech sound




that’s how my thoughts feel in my mind,

an anxious, spongy filter

when other listen to me.

each well-intentioned suggestion

each string of joking words

each intricately placed story


to connect with my lips

to relax my posture

to remain organizaed

in the precise structure of ideas that will

make my thoughts seem



but this is not who I am.


when i am comfortable,

no longer a stiff puppet of my own creation,

my words flow in a rushed mixture of:

ideas jokes stories suggestions sarcasm exclamations interjections loud tones whispers laughs

my ideas a fluid river of:

creativity precise planning wild dreams mundane inner monologue interpretation memories

without filters, I am me.

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