Accessories

She can smell you just because she knows your smell.
She took a whiff the minute you got inside the jeepney.
You are
probably
oxidized.
The way your short hair
cropped above your ears
mix with the air,
mix with your pert nose,
mix with your eyes always darting back and forth,
mimics fairies
(just the way you want it to),
and exudes your typical growing awareness of a–what?
Freshman? Sophomore kolehiyala?
Your jeans are hugging your growing lanky legs.
So skinny, so tall, skin so smooth and soft like a
(choose your commercial ad here).
She guesses that you were probably like her in high school,
studied in some all-girls Catholic school
where you were allowed to wear only two accessories,
with only colors of black, white, and brown.
Because simplicity is beauty.
But you didn’t know then that you are beautiful;
you are only knowing it now.

She fiddles with her bracelet, necklace, ring, and earrings
as she gazes at you,
wishing for a smile or two
(because admitting that she wants to touch that pert nose
will be totally creepy).
She knows that she was totally not like you in her college days;
she was greasy, short, and overdecorated.
She missed the mark.
Because
simplicity is beauty.
But she didn’t know then that she was beautiful.
She is only knowing it now
with these new accessories (one per body part for simplicity),
blouses,
cardigans,
and shaved eyebrows.
She is only knowing it now by
gazing,
staring,
wishing for a smile or two,
wishing, wishing, wishing,
and taking a whiff.

Carelessly, you take out your cellphone inside the jeepney
and use it as your
mirror.
Every strand of hair must stay in place.
Every strand of hair
must flow with the wind
in just the right direction.
You slouch carefully
and your butt almost slides off the seat
as if confessing to somebody that you are cbf giving a fuck
yet still confident enough to be aggressive, to give a fuck.

However, your darting eyes and fingers glued to your hair confess
otherwise.
And she revels in this uncertainty in you. (To her: this potential.)
She sees you on the fence of that seat you are almost sliding off,
partly on the side of flaunting sensuality
and partly on the side of always second guessing if
one
is
cool
enough.

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