by Anonymous
inspired by Mari Aviles’ demo-lesson

Everyone in my family has a different smile. My mother’s smile is wide and shows all of her teeth, open and inviting, and the skin around her mouth shows the wear of years of open and inviting smiles. The additions are not enough to erase their toll. My father’s smile varies by occasion, sometimes small and mournful, not quite stretching across his face, gracing it for a moment before vanishing, and sometimes, for a brief moment, wide open and filled with laughter, brightening the room with its levity and light. My sister’s smile is often close-mouthed and spread tight across her cheeks, not quite revealing what’s inside but mirroring it enough to pass for expression. When she laughs, when her smile is real and wide, there’s an exhale that comes along with it. I’ve always known that who they are and how they feel is painted clearly on their faces.


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