this little lifelong game

we’ve been playing this game for so long I don’t remember when it started. 

Khun-yahy’s brown eyes, 

the same brown as the ink lifting from those glossy pages, pervasive and factual and condemning my body but the same brown that was consoling my body 

my body hunched over the dirt next to herthe water from the hose sculpting grooves into her hands holding my hands 

Our hands stirred the pot of curry and my hands formed grooves from the steam swirling around us 

I stepped out as the bitter air greeted my skin 

And tried to dry the mirror off but the steam and my hands and my brown eyes shattered it into pieces 

Pieces of the paper that 

my Khun-yahy tried to write me a survival guide. but she didn’t realize that the tree that she wrote beneath would not shade me, would not obscure 

her tears were already flowing through my blood.  

a game of hide and seek—was it? 

I’m not really sure if I’m still hiding or if I was found that very first time I believed you when you 

divided my body and placed it between blue foam and cellophane

weighing each piece on the scale, a commodity of your antithetical system a forged facade of conformity was this—

a game of golf? 

Would I win by scoring the least? By contracting my mind? But ivory faces and slender clubs this was never my game.

I’ve always loved how alphonso mangoes turn golden with the suns rays, wrinkled and uneven but each one insisting it’s own magnificent catharsis as it dyes lips dark orange and slips along brown chins, and dashes through gravel streets racing to meet the sky before— they cried 

When they saw the mangoes here, packaged and dried, 

A forged facade of conformity  

but beneath I think we’re all shattered as ever before my hands tremble

as I drop the pieces

and try to keep up with this fallacy of a game. 

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