For a baby, I am unkempt,
But for an adult, I am very unkempt.
People can tell me my age just by looking,
So when I bashfully admit I am 21,
I actually have no bash left,
Because I used all of it on my ***** sneakers and chipping nail polish,
and hangnails and tangled split ends in a scrunchie,
and leftover acne from the homecoming dance when I tried to erase it away with my mother’s makeup, two shades too light, two left feet as I had not grown fully into my limbs.
And they can see how aware I was of my pointy chin when I was thirteen years of self-conscious, repeating all the better responses to conversations, like my life was some laugh track sitcom,
just like I do right now,
many days, still,
in notebooks, to plants, to the bank machine, to the mirror at the optometrist, to the grocer when I run errands,
because even though now I run errands and have checks to cash,
I still have baby hair to bash,
and I laugh the same laugh,
with my eyes that turn into little moons,
thinking in the same cartoons,
under good eyebrows, though unkempt,
above the toil of braces and 21 years of chapped lips.