letting paint stain my flesh as i sigh pine-scented air

and i know, 
on some level, 
that whatever thinly-veiled 
insult will be directed at me, 

i won't be able to defend myself. 

and the gifts i receive
(small and thoughtless)
will fit in the palm of my hand
with a resounding pain. 

i said no to that new dress
and i asked instead for pins
because maybe that way
i can puncture the fabric of my bag
and pretend the pretty black wolf's head
does not mock me from below

and yet 
i know

that my real christmas list
(ignored, despite this being the first year
i can actually muster up any requests)
contains barely three items. 

1. two matching lapel pins. 
they are small and clear-cut,
and i have worked hard
to be able to wear a button-up, 
flatten my chest, 
and finally be able to breathe. 

2. origami paper. 
thinness and pattern, 
i fold it into four-pointed stars, 
running the pads of my fingers
over smooth bumps and ridges. 

3.  watercolors & paper. 
small tubes to press pigment out of, 
take a delicate brush and let it pool with water, 
soak into the fibres and spread, 
like a lake-bird's wings against a white sky.

these are the things that i would like. 
most of these things are just
ones i hold close to my chest - 
watercolor is something 
i'd genuinely like to get better at, 
and i can't do that if i don't practice. 

as for the other things, 


i am a simple person, 
and despite the twisted phrases
sinking into my tongue, 
i would only like for my mother to listen for once. 

The End

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