A.N. - Prompt contest poem. Prompt was: "if you judge people, you will never have time to love them ."

Laid Bare

I have a school-boy crush, you say
but I insist I love you so,
to which you say no,
no you don't. I'll try
to make you understand.
Answer this one question:
how do you see me?

I cannot come up with a quick repsonse,
so she provides one to fill the gap:
superficially, shallowly,
and not at all the inner me,
the one you see is ambiguity
and idealized and a falsity.

I stutter and say that isn't true,
but my wide-eyed gaze holds nothing back,
so she sees the lie I tell myself
and how I see her in the watery eyes
that blink, once, twice, three times:
and still my vision does not change.

And by the time she's turned her face,
the dream girl's still burned in my eyes,
and as much as I try to erase
to see what's buried underneath
the only thing that's left to find:
is something ugly I can no longer hide.