they stare at my face
as though my lies might
sprout from my bones
like tiny seedlings
planted to rot and die.
as though my arms do not
move heavy through
fingers sluggish in the face
of this intricate web i have
built and cultivated for myself.
they name me "little red"
because when i get nervous,
i make myself look smaller.
i paste a pleasant expression on
and i do my best impression of
a slightly lost girl - and it works.
this is my defense mechanism -
appear as unthreatening as possible.
to make myself a smaller target,
nobody suspects "little red" of lies.
nobody points fingers at the naive one
when the time comes to answer
the question, "who here is the liar?"
so the only way they'd ever peg me
for what i truly am is if, somehow,
they managed to pin some trick on me,
like the one they pulled on that
small wooden boy in the man's shop,
the only way they'd find out the truth,
is if they turned me into pinocchio.