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coming out

before i became conscious of what it meant

to be an introvert, i thought i was defective

in my thirst for solitude. no one taught me

that withdrawing from crowds at times

could foster renewal, allow me to be

my best self around others. that my

aptitude for imagination

could be inspiring instead of isolating.

now grown-up, client-facing, i’ve come

to discover the importance of passing

for extroverted, of turning on charm

like a faucet. i’ve developed a rote list

of safe small talk topics —

wives, weekends, weather

i feed the beast with empty buzzings

during meetings, loathing myself

with every use of the word “absolutely”

somehow this has all manifested

in a gracious if quiet reputation

one where i am unironically referenced

as a leader and mentor

still i continue to stick out my tongue

in hopes of catching alone time,

raindrops in a desert


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