The Broken Zipper

By Olivia Falk, TIWP Student

Sometimes, I have a broken zipper for a mouth
Sometimes, it gets stuck and I’m left silent on the sidelines
But around the right people, it unzips with ease and thoughts flow

I grasp for words to say
My mind feels too blank
Waiting to jump into conversations, the water feels too cold, too harsh
Taking so much time overthinking
The right sentence
The right answer
It doesn’t exist, but in my mind, it feels too real to ignore

I feel fake
I am an actor following a script, anticipating a laugh from the audience
A chess master, always a few steps ahead
Though acknowledgment invites awareness, awareness inspires fear
Boring
Awkward
Not interesting
Never the first person chosen
Out of place in a sky so uniform, so blue

Yet next year, when I start anew
I have a chance to reinvent the person my mind tells me is not enough today
Like a butterfly, leaving behind my old self
But my memories hold tight
My friendships hold strong
I can’t help but thank the person I am today, for all that she has done

Though I doubt her sometimes
With her zipper for a mouth
She isn’t someone I will throw away
My mind tells me to think
Perfect
Correct
But I’ll stand with her
And learn to accept

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