for a girl named A

Automatic Sadness
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When you turn your face, I see the most beautiful girl underneath invisible scars. There are lines there, drawn in an ink that’s never been put to paper, tracing everything you’ve ever seen, everything you care to remember and some things you don’t. When you turn your head and smile, the maps crinkle in the corner of your eyes like secrets that kings lost before history was written down on anything but flesh and I smile back, because yes, that’s exactly how that song used to go, back when we were smaller and less aware of fear. You have the name of the only girl who was ever nice to me in grade seven. I don’t think it matters, but I thought you would like to know.

When you hold your hand to the light, I see a dancer there, poised with rhythm and waiting for the exact moment to drop her handkerchief, eyes smiling at the irony of it all. The bones are soaked with vitality and glow through only where they should, rather than before, when they did not, when they were apparent. Knuckles white, knuckles kissed, it’s all the same after. You’re loved and should know it. The form and frame are balanced, a painting waiting to be found under an old student whitewash.

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