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  • Zahra Choudry

The Cost of Altruism

The restlessness of your eyes

longing to know peace

urging to feel comfort,

yet so hesitant to be heard.

Saying more from your subtle stares,

the stare which irks me, burdens me—

It leaves me bare.

A word not yet uttered,

yet enough has been said.

Still, turmoil remains rampant

under the heavy, dark gaze

unobserved to the untrained eye,

yet still so careful

to not be heard,

to not disturb.

They utter what they yearn for.

Void of words.

Fine lines and ill fortune evident under the light

yelling undetected.

Irreversible is the damage

of your excess.

The unrestrained, insurmountable tolerance.

Damage so skillfully shrouded

under a sheathed lie.

A lively demeanor, a lovely smile.

Sullen bags, pale skin.

The eyes, however, say more than is heard.

Silent as bone-chilling December nights,

as their true desires go unnoticed,

meticulously hidden under red herrings.

All to avert recognition.


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