When all they ask of you is to smile,
your smile is the last thing they care about.
When they want you to listen and nod in approval,
it is not your feedback that they are looking for.
When they say they want to meet you,
it might just be that they want to introduce themselves.
You can say ''Hi'' and walk away,
for they should know that to speak to someone is to know how to listen.
They must learn that there is no spontaneous conversation
planned in advance,
nor is there a meaningful response
to a question that aims for nothing.
Nothing is a location
where they tell you to pick up your smile
and keep it as long as it pleases them.
Them, not you,
you do not matter.
Yet, they do not exist without you,
they feed with the approval that they have taught you how to fake.
And you fake it
while saying your name to those who will never grow big enough
to understand a single syllable of it.
But they sing their songs with confidence
and tell their stories as if those were the only things that matter.
And you listen,
trying to catch the melody,
knowing, deep inside, that the silence is your anthem.
When they ask for your name,
try telling them your favorite color,
and enjoy the hush of the moment.