that thing they do when you're walking down the street
them, a barrier, linked arm-in-arm, laughing, and you,
trotting along behind, ears pricked for any mention of
your name that doesn't come, and when you reach your
destination you sit at the corner of the table so that
they don't have to move you because the truth is that
they were and always will be better friends with each
other than with you. even your best friends have better

your ex-girlfriend said one day that she'd pay to see your
personality (said that you had none) and maybe it's true.
maybe you sacrificed your personality for likability
because maybe they'd love you if you had no opinions.

the truth as you know is more cowardly. the truth is that
you learned early on to be afraid of them, because every-
thing is ulterior and even when you've shaken their gazes
you're convinced that they're still watching because that's
how it always goes.

terrified, you burn every bridge before it's been built,
knowing full well that it'll crumble anyway because they
say that they like you now but there's no way that it was
not under false pretenses; evil thing, manipulating people
into thinking that this was solid ground upon which a
bridge could've stood. reckless thing, luring people to
the riverbanks. but don't they know it'll all decay