Nervous Fingers

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"My, my, aren't you a cute darling!"
I show my crooked teeth in a grin;
it catalyzes a chain reaction in the crowd.
Everyone seems to say the same thing,
and nobody suspects how I don't believe them.
If only they could see
my nervous fingers
clutching to the hem of my skirt
as if it was my lifestring
and starving sharks below me bite my ankles.

"I love your hair so much!"
My gaze falls to my shoes;
I can feel the blood rush to my cheeks.
Everyone teases me about my response,
and nobody suspects how I don't believe them.
If only they could see
my nervous fingers
fidgetting with bobby pins
like they are timebombs
ready to explode if clipped to the wrong strands.

"Your skin is basically flawless!"
I have nowhere to hide anymore;
my lips curl into a tentative smile.
Everyone gives the same compliments,
and nobody suspects how I don't believe them.
If only they could see
my nervous fingers
picking up bloodied mirror shards
after busted knuckles
show my disastisfaction of my reflection.

"You have, like, the perfect body!"
Anxiously I purse my lips;
I mumble a "thank you" in appreciation.
Everyone simply reuses the same lines,
and nobody suspects how I don't believe them.
If only they could see
my nervous fingers
poking my stomach
and my cheeks and my arms and my thighs
for minutes upon hours of torture.

"Why can't you just accept what we say?!"
I inhale and avoid eye contact;
the tension grows while my lungs burn.
It's because everyone says the same damn thing,
and nobody realizes that I don't believe them.
And if they could see
my nervous fingers
wanting to rip open my skin
because it feels like ten million centipedes
crawl along my veins with vengeance,
Maybe they'd understand why.

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