SMILE by Ag Synclair

at the diner counter
an old woman told me to smile
she wanted me to magically
copy a happy fucking grin
and paste it to my face.

my wiring does not allow empty smiles
or lies
told by the ugliest people I know
people with lawns
too many cars
and country club teeth

they don’t have a soul
a heart
a receptor of all things
dark
and damaged.

I’ll smile for you, old woman
I’ll smile when the ugliest among us can write
when they drop the cover
stop smiling
and show the world their bruises.

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