i am not clever

i am not clever. my hands are clear of knowledge and i am not interested in the structure of my dna or how to please the man scanning my examination paper. i am only cleaning my knife. i am only bruising myself on other kinds of skin. i am learning by touching familiar faces through a white sheet on the other side of my palm, where my fingers poke through the holes and grooves of their eyes their noses their lips i cannot see. i am not clever because i cannot calculate a sum. i am not clever because i cannot hold together an atom and feel my way around the skeleton of a liquid. i cannot describe nature to you. even if i place stars in my mouth like sweets. no, i do not live for this kind of education. i live for the lessons inside peoples’ tongues. and i want to rub myself against their language. i want to be the drug they scrub into their gums. and at night i want them to fall asleep with my face imprinted into their dreams. i am not clever by books as books. i am only a genius with the books people wear on their faces. and i read them. time and time again.

but no, i am not clever.

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