She wished she could tell him she wasn’t in love with him. Not even close. She was just infatuated with everything he did-he was her muse. She knew it was odd for a woman to have a man for a muse, but she couldn’t help it; he filled her up with hope.

“You make me feel less weird.”

“You make me feel like I’m just weird enough.”

They talked like this in small hidden corners of his house. He knew when they were alone, they forgot about what their friends imagined them to be. She knew he felt more at ease at these times, and so did she.

They stuck to each other for a whole day in the snow and when they finally peeled apart, they both said they didn’t realize how cold it had been. That’s when she knew she needed him. She needed him just to be around sometimes.

She could see how he might think she liked or loved him. But, she only really loved what he gave her-the first line to a sad new poem, the perfect ending to the short story she could never finish…and the involuntary smile. This was her favorite gift.

***

Most of our lives

we tell our teeth and lips to rise

for a photograph, for our boss on Monday morning

It is a command we’ve learned to obey

***

If you take a moment

to notice when your lips have lifted

without permission, you have experienced

involuntary happiness

***

This makes you feel the most

human you’ve ever been and

realize you can’t ignore what or who

can do that to you with no effort at all

 

 

 

 

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