Written by Grace Toakley
Graphic by Hengjia Liu
This piece was originally published in ‘Pleasure and Danger’, Bossy’s 2020 print edition.
you do not trust another
to hear your whispers of worry and keep them pocketed.
you flinch at the thought of them pulling you apart and singing sweet nothings to your secrets,
of unfamiliar hands running over unsaid fears and wrapping around unspoken desires.
it is safer to stay unknown.
your mouth moves upwards, and you’re already turning from the reassurances of tomorrow,
and the next day,
and the next.
and they resent you.
they begin to notice the sideward glances towards spaces that they do not occupy,
the uncertain nods,
and they ask why.
what do you tell them?
how do you explain the lack of faith that fills every gap in your patterns of speech,
the bubbles of mistrust swelling in your stomach that have no business there,
your smile is misshapen and your hands can’t be held.
there is an unrivalled danger in what you are yet to experience.
so much so that you would rather not feel it,