Can you see under the stiff smile, under the too formal clothes, under the judgemental eyes?
Can you see under the rigid facade that changes only to deliver a scathing retort, under the lips that purse, aloof, in stilted silence,
instead of offering up an inviting, carefully curated smile?
Can you see that
even though I glower and grimace, my countenance forbidding and
even though I greet your salutations with derision, can you see that deep down, my heart still smiles?
Can you see that even though my lips do not truly curve and even though my eyes do not glimmer,
sparks struck on my heart
fly on wings feathered with hopes and dreams, catch on ideas full of promise, and
glow with the brilliance of stars that burn within.