We look side to side like we’re being booked into prison,
and we are.
But it’s not our fault:
it all started when we were taught to look both ways when crossing the street.
Look left, and then right
so you stay safe.
Next came you turning to your friend to ask
“what’d you get on the test?”
Next came you looking at your body in the mirror,
measuring it with media’s ruler
Next came you weighing yourself against your sibling
And as you get older,
your younger self.
Comparisons is the everyday person’s assessment:
a high-stakes exam
where test anxiety is inevitable,
but I choose to opt-out.