One summer, I couldn’t smile—

I mean I didn't have
it in me. I heard
the receptionist ask
the person over at the next
cubicle why my face was always
so pensive. There was no explicit
way to describe how, when I stirred
the bottom of the pot, the only
shreds I dredged up were thin
and toneless. Passing
the hallway mirror, I often
wondered about the stranger
in the creased cotton shirt:
her limp hair, exhausted eyes 
that looked at her as though
there was something of such
importance that needed
to find the right words
in order for it to be said. 


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