Paper Stars

by Ritski


My mother asks me why

I sit at the computer

Making paper stars out of graphing paper.

I want to tell her that

The soft music and

The press of the lined page

Making corners against my bruised fingertips

Gives me something to do

Keeps my mind from wandering

And gives me a reminder that

There is hope

Even in the form of a small star made of flimsy paper.

However, even though my mind can form the words

Put them into phrases

And sentences

My mouth cannot communicate them correctly

As though my brain and my vocal chords do not connect

All I can do is speak a few simplified, distinguished words

That I do not in fact know why

I spend my days making paper stars out of graphing paper

With my music turned up too loud

So I can shut out the world

Make it go away long enough that I can continue to press

The corners of disformed stars into the red-brown callouses

In the sides of my fingertips

Without having to worry about how I spoke

Or how I couldn’t speak

Without a break in every other word

Without a stutter in my breath

Without shifting eyes and my thoughts consuming my words

Saying no, no, you cannot speak up

Do you think they care what you have to say?

Continue to create stars out of silence

To fill up the jars labelled

Everything I will never say

And turn up your music

So the world will be quiet again.


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