I'm looking at you

You stare back with a calm expression

and searching eyes

Can you tell me who you are?

You are standing almost boldly,

Only

Your slouching shoulders

Tell the story of a tall kid

Trying to shrink into herself, and not stand out

Yes

Old habits die hard

Can you tell me who you are?

Are you a shy foreigner in first grade,

Scared to speak in a world unfamiliar

Can you tell me who you are?

Are you a silent fifth grader,

Shaking hands betraying your still face

As the girls saunter to you

Because you know how words hurt

maim your character,

Tear apart your esteem

Leaving you to gather the hurting pieces

In your arms and hold them quietly.

Only when you love those pieces

And love them hard

Will they bind together

and make you whole again

(But did you love them?

Or did you slap on a band aid

of false confidence

to hide the nasty wound

of insecurity?)

Fake it till you make it, right?

Did that make it right?

Are you alright?

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who are you?

Who am I?

I don't know.

I say this out loud, I don't know

Something flashes in your eyes

and you say the same

I sigh and turn away