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
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.