i am a Leo

I am a Leo.

yes, things like horoscopes are called silly
but i cannot help but wish that i was brave
i am not bold or outspoken or extroverted

instead, i spin roses with my lips
and bite down on the thorns
until my teeth bleed

instead, i tuck myself away
i censor my words so i do not incite offense
i dilute my conversations so that you do not choke

instead, i switch what you see with the off-brand,
i near-flawlessly imitate to the real thing, so carefully crafted
that the only way to tell is to take a burning sip

instead, i smear skin-colored paste over the caves of my sunken eyes
they swim in aquatic caverns and craters of dark skin
i cover everything else with layered fabric and hope it is not warm out

so do not call me anything but cowardly,
i am afraid because my fear has kept me alive
i am this way because i had to be

but that does not mean i am not to blame
i still chose this sickly lifestyle, 
still drank the poisoned tea of my lies
even as i served it to my guests

i believed it too, the illusion got so close to the real thing
but a fake can only copy, never truly grasp
so i am a shell, nothing but an automaton that calls itself
a human being and tries to feel emotions

i am a computer program, installed and left there
by clacking keys and automatic updates
i am not noticeable, a hagfish among eels
yes, we are all ugly, but you must understand
that even among swine, i am uncultured

i am a Leo.

it does not fit and i am not anything like i should be,
but you cannot change your birthday.
born in the last days of June, i was late.
i was late to my own birth,
i was an afterthought of the month

i am not brave.
i am many things, but not brave.

i think, though,
that i could learn to be.

The End

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