I’ve gotten very good at pretending.
I can pretend to be happy.
I can pretend to love people.
I can pretend that life doesn’t scare me.
I wear make-up as a mask.
My ceaseless grin is a façade.
I walk with friends and I do well in school
And I pretend that I don’t feel completely alone.
But this kind of pretending is exhausting.
The fake conversation
Swallowing the lump in my throat
Pretending to be someone who I don’t want to be.
So, at three in the morning
When the kitchen light is turned off
And mommy and daddy have fallen asleep
I pull out my journal and my black, wooden pencil
There’s nothing like the cramp in your hand from writing too much.
The naked, hard truth splayed onto sheets of college-ruled paper
Black on white – things I did not know I felt.
But for once, I’m not pretending.
And I let myself cry and I let myself laugh
I let myself feel everything that I’m scared of feeling in the daytime.
When I am writing poetry, I can let myself go
I let myself be me.