Alien

Extroversion takes energy
the one woman show I perform
cannot be dropped in front of another

No one knows the immense effort it takes
to make conversation and answer phone calls
to smile and be presentable and friendly

For once I'd just like recognition
for all the inner work I'm doing to
fit the mold society expects of me

It's hard to accept I must spend
my limited mental resources on tasks
other people do on autopilot

Never knowing if my performance is enough
wondering if little slip ups have gone unnoticed
and made me look arrogant, careless, and rude

It can take hours or even days to return to
a sense of internal equilibrium after an interaction
an animal trembling and pacing from stress

Violently shaking off the charged emotional energy
is generally frowned upon by polite society
so I choke it down and hold it in

People say "be yourself" but 
I've always known that didn't include me
when I speak a different language entirely

Misinterpretation and misunderstanding
my wires are tangled and connected
in ways that do not translate

I've always felt like an alien endangered
by my innocent inability to blend in
envious of how others make it look so easy
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