They say that
a smile costs nothing but
every time I’m afraid, I smile.

What then
is my fear worth? Each
lip pull-up drains my soul bank dry

Taxi driver, here: take my smile as payment
as I trust you to take me to my
stay in Seoul. You gave me
a kindly running commentary
but my lips stayed stiff;

Rigor mortis. Bravery: RIP
Solo. Solitary.
Even in my own company
this one thing
rings and clangs around my headspace:
I am afraid, I am afraid

and it isn’t to do with the cities
or the Sanskrit squiggles of the language; I could be in Tokyo
or Timbuktu

I could be
canoeing, walking, screaming,
fucking – and my heart would still say
Wait. Don’t forget it. You’re afraid.

I’m thinking of getting it
tattooed on my grave. Lasting memory
of sour tastes

and chain-smoked cigarettes that
make a stone circle
around my feet.
Some lousy protection, eh?

and sitting here, drinking
drinking so I don’t have to be walking
(Can you hear my heart?
‘You are afraid’)

I’m thinking:
How many
solo missions will it take

To smile a smile that says
Not ‘You’re afraid’, but
‘You’re okay’?

About fiercemissc

Twenty-something Geordie girl living and working in Hong Kong. Young, free and single and making the most of it.
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