people keep telling me to

"read the room"

they keep trying to make me understand

"body language"

and i might be bilingual

but i can't read 'the room' or speak 'body' language

i can understand faces

if they're really obvious

(and, on tv, have musical cues)


people who can have conversations with

just glancing at people

seeing little quirks

too fast to catch-

it's like watching someone

grab a handful of dirt,

and pull out a tiny blue gemstone

without looking.

i can't understand how people do it,

and they can't understand how i can't.

going through the world,

and watching other people's faces-

trying to magnify their expressions,

trying to figure out what their voice means-

it's like trying to read a biology textbook

written in hieroglyphics.

everyone else learned to read hieroglyphics when they were little-

they're better at hieroglyphics than they are english,


but i never learned hieroglyphics.

i'm trying to understand what they mean,

trying to match




while everyone else is passing notes.

i've seen cheat sheets-

i've used a handy hieroglyphic-to-english poster

with bird-snake-human written under a cartoony face

but it's really hard understanding people

when their faces don't match up

to the flashcards.

and there's more hieroglyphics

than there are english words.

i can't understand

any of the faces that people make,

and people tell me that

there's something wrong with me,

but i don't feel wrong.

i just didn't learn the same alphabet

everyone else did.