She says, “shhhh.”

Everyone always wants to know you for one thing, like Volvos are safe. I want to know you like that because I am as fragile and small as a child, still, at 35. You are fragile too, so I’m gentle with you, softly-softly to the grave with us, even when I’m yelling at the dogs to go outside. Sometimes I expect everything of myself because no one ever expected anything of me, and you tell me, “Shhh.”

There’s something wrong with everyone who likes me. I can go anywhere and be somewhere I’m not wanted. No one I meet believes I write love poems because everyone thinks we are who we say we are, that we’re all flat things. Safe like Volvos and I am so many things and you tell me, “Shhh.”

I try to be. I try to be quiet, even when I’m locking up and you’re sleeping. I told my brother about my new tattoo, he says it’s addictive. It’s a pen and a needle, of course it’s addictive and you tell me, “Shhh.”

Just, shhhh.

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