for someone who has hungrily devoured books for hoursdaysmonthsyears
uncovered the secret behind the alphabet
worn the perfume of old aging books behind ears
lapped up contents of a dictionary like milk
it is a curious thing for others when I open my lips and speech eludes me.
they ask me why over sloshing bitter cocktails and trimmed fingers and dusty eyes
I tell them I am timid shy bashful shy
—hand them a basketful of lies—
they nod, uninterested and tie cherry knots with their clicking tongues.
when in truth,
I am storing up all the words I drink in through my eyes my ears my fingers and shelving them in the crevices and recesses of my joints and stitching them to the shells of my cells as a reminder that I am
Shirley Kuo is a tenth-grader currently residing in California. She has always aspired to be a writer of all sorts: short stories, novels, poems, essays, etc.