My insecurities are penciled on my eyelids,
so that everyone may know me—
while I remain in my most vulnerable state;
And so that when the critics invite me beyond
their waiting room full of tension and cadavers—
They may strap me to their examining table
and adjust their lights to my dreaming mind.
I will stare at them beyond my shut eyelids,
through the evergreen chalkboard
where teacher made me write my name.
I will finally understand this punishment—
after a checkmark is placed
to the left of where I lay.
Each critic after will follow in line,
holding up yellow chalk,
with their target
on my shut eyes.