Swollen Smile

Tayla Vannelli

I tried to eat a cookie that day 
Do you remember that? 
They were peanut butter 
Mediocre ones from the store 
It was the first solid food I had eaten 
Since my wisdom teeth had been yanked 

You had only just met me 
I said, “Hi person I don’t know” 
As you walked through the door 
You seemed startled that I’d address you 
I didn’t know that I was interrupting 
Your own ideas on how to say hello 

You found an open seat next to mine 
I pretended to be too busy to notice 
I was catching up with Marcy, you see 
To be honest, I was well aware 
But to keep my heart from fluttering 
I fixed my eyes on my friend 

Remember that cookie I tried to eat? 
Well, I broke it piece by piece 
The crumbs were falling 
My swollen cheeks forgot how to chew  
You had no idea I’d had surgery 
I guess you thought I ate like that normally 

You asked me questions about my plans 
I had to tell you I was leaving soon 
I’m always going somewhere 
I kept my heart in check 
Because the last thing I wanted was 
Another person who didn’t like my goodbyes 

I thought there was every reason for you to  
Forget me the moment you left the room 
I was leaving for Georgia and  
I couldn’t even eat a cookie 
Guess you liked my swollen smile 
Since you pursued me the next day