I play wallflower to your world. 

Your life—crisply folded, deliciously cookie-cutter,

coordinated family photos that take hours to stage. 

I will never relate to your relations. 

Mine— we’re a loose tapestry,

more rough-and-tumble, less methodical.

Do not misunderstand me, love—

I envy the order of your universe, but mine

has no formal design or blueprint to follow.

I’ve never had to pose before, angling my shoulders

to please the blinding flash. 

Forgive my awkward stance, my lack of grace.

It’s evident I come from somewhere else.

A place where posture doesn’t matter, where Dad 

comes from around the corner without warning

to snap photos of us laughing over our breakfast plates,

never stopping to count down from three but that’s okay

because in that world at least I do not wonder if my smile 

looks forced in the Christmas card you’ll never send.

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