what do you do when someone compliments you?
does it suffice to say thank you, or does it say that
i agree with your observation about me, which then
turns the exchange on its head, instantly, making it
my own boastful declaration over a safe amenable
acceptance? do you compliment them right back –
as if a conversation is a duel you would do anything
to get out of, as if fighting fire with fire applies even
when the fire issues warmth instead of burns? won’t
doing that only nullify both the phrases of praises you
prised out of each other? won’t your innocent retort
sound hollow – not that you meant it in the first place
– but like the fraudulent i-only-did-it-cause-you-did-
too it actually is? and then again, who can prove the
admiration from another is nothing but a bouquet of
honest, perfumed feelings wrapped in slippery words
with soft eagerness poking on top? did life not prepare
you against flattery enough, to not be naive enough?
who told you you’re worth every positive affirmation
coming your way, every encouragement off your high
horse of incredulity? who taught you how to distinguish
an oasis from a mirage? who taught you how to take
a compliment? whoever did, could you please send them
my way, too?
An ode to my awkwardness/trust issues in accepting compliments.