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if you’re me you know how to milk praise

easily

you know that love comes in two paths

easy  and hard

 

easy praise is the kind with no risk

pretty; nice boots; mature and professional

you’ll do well for the rest of high school

i look so destined for a job in actuarial sciences or information technology

(sounds like misery in good payment, although before i knew myself it appealed to me)

i know how to find safety

in 98.3% instruction-following certainty

 

excellence was a command not a decision

for panic attacks, tears and boredom i receive good grades

(they’re not the same thing when i disagree)

but even when i try

 to make them into solid glowing matter

they are still forwarded to the inbox of a phantom representing

who someone else wishes i could be

 

the phantom is now dead

except on the outside

with the encouragement it grows

the truth fades for a moment

and then comes back in fury

 

 

 

but there’s another kind of praise

that comes with rejection

but also being seen

the hard compliments

make my heart skip a beat

the world dissolves into vibrations

they’re not dependable or perfect but they feel, for now

like matter 

belonging to me.

 

 

 

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