i’m a scratch
a hard laugh
that cracked at the top
and everyone looked
and thought, Wow. Was it really so funny?

because it wasn’t
they all misheard
that wasn’t a laugh at all

it was the sound of failure
and loss
and being lost
never found
at least, never soon enough

i’m a burn
a good cry
that grew legs and arms
and clawed and ran through the middle of the body
no one looked to see her walk away
because it was loud, crowded, and hot
and there were smiles and touches and clinking glasses

because the bathroom was more inviting
because that’s where the best cries happen

she didn’t make a wail that could be heard
the quiet was wide and tall and deep
it was a whispered whimper
that whimpered for what is lost
and for being lost
for never being found
at least, never soon enough

HK

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