The Suffix ‘-ist’

Eyes upon you can be likened to a touch; and people stare.

At color of skin, teeth, hair, (like emotions painted inside the lines of my body.)

At my character, (moods fluctuate too fast for them to catch.)

At my anger, (it’s a heaviness; it repels or attracts.)

At my words, (are they intelligent enough or too much so? Do they speak a similar belief or will they inspire defensiveness?)

At my love, (it is too something, too close, to cloying, too big, too sharp, too naive, too open.)

At my body, (it encases me and so they see it first, judge accordingly.)

At my pain, (it’s the most visible but least recognizable. They think it belongs in another category.)

At my rejection, (now I behave badly and must be punished in turn with rejection.)

At my embrace, (now I am invading, antibodies arm thyselves. Interpret energy.)

At my writing, (this they praise for although this is the best reflection of me they see it as separate and therefore worthy.)

At my strength, (this they praise and see unless it’s turned against them.)

At my eyes, (like they can see to the very depths of me, but choose not to.)

People stare. I count them as they do. I feel them as they do. They watch these things that are and aren’t me and I watch them as they watch me and I grow more and more afraid. I feel the ticking of their thoughts behind their eyes, in the privacy of their brains, and  I wonder, “Do they know they know nothing? Do they know they know everything?”

I smile when I am one of those staring people. I can turn this upon myself. I stare: (At color of skin, teeth, hair, character, anger, words, love, body, pain, embrace, writing, strength, eyes.) I stare with my staring eyes, until I read between the lines, and then I close them, and begin to see. They are just me. And upon the realization that what I see is not what they be, I smile. At the people who stare. Upon the realization that what they see does and does not matter. I smile and stare and watch them stare at me, imagining the ticking of their thoughts behind their eyes, in the privacy of their brains, and I wonder, “Do they know they know nothing? Do they know they know everything?” I wonder, “Do I need to tell them, or just let them be, and who am I to judge their perspective, or judge them by what they see, just as I have the right to judge them judging me, pulling back from perspective at want or whim, and doing it accordingly, all willingly.”

I watch them stare. Eyes tracking movements made of mere reflection. I watch them stare at me staring at them. And then the whine– Until I realize it doesn’t matter. Their perspective doesn’t matter. I can’t control them, unless they be, mirror images of me, then all I can do, is what they can do, is check the movements of me, stare and be, what I want to see.

Eyes upon you can be likened to a touch; and people stare.

And I let them.

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