Hollowed Out

A simple shifting of feet
As movement changes from past my door
To through it and I,
Lost in some deep reverie,
Move from past to present
To catch a smile, warm and expectant,
But betrayed by a furrowed brow.
Hollow words meet hollow eyes,
Or at least they should read as hollow.
I can never tell if what I feel
Is written as plainly on my face
As it is written in my heart.

I grew up hiding everything,
Unable to risk vulnerability,
And now there are many things
I have to write with intent and purpose
On the page of my face,
Pressing so hard with the brush
That sometimes the paper rips
And what I’m trying to convey
Just spills instead.
It is a learning process
And I’ve improved over the years,
But I can never tell
If my eyes ever convey
The look into my soul
I sometimes wish they would.

I tune back into the monologue–
One person speaking endlessly
Could never be called a conversation–
Trying to gather up
All the words I missed,
But they are brittle things,
Dried out and worn from use,
Lifeless all the while.
Empty things, as emptied as I feel
When I think about why
You’ve stopped to talk to me,
They break as soon as I try
To pick them up from where they fell.

You meant to provide support,
But these fragile things
Don’t hold up under pressure
And all I’ve gained for my time
Is a hand full of splinters.

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