2012-12-10T00:40:39-08:00December 10th, 2012|Musings on life|

A beginner’s field guide to smiling

They’ll tell you to start with the mouth
but if you do it without your eyes
you might as well be
brushing your teeth

the fact that your lips
make a rectangle
is hardly the point

it’s half in the eyes
a crumpled swirl of skin on each side
the balls themselves
flickering with light
like a lake
on a windy day

the mouth plays a role
of course
little and coy or floppy
as a rip in an old pair of pants

but it’s the breath
they never teach

that’s the trick

the nervous ones inhale
their faces a drawing
of how they think happiness should look

but when joy gallops you
fast and unbridled
your mouth cracks open
in the most beautiful way
and your breath pours out
for a precious moment
taking all your sadness with it.

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