the curtain ope n s

every morning

the same play

every day

I am the star

but I’m burning out


I perform my masquerade

with tightly wound patterns

and gaudy looks

to distract the audience

from the person

behind the mask


the mask is tight

it suffocates

constrains my sight

my voice

dribbles out my mouth

uselessly to the floor


I long to drop my guise

to cry out

to feel

but no one can know

what is inside

until it has healed


until then I know

the show must go on

the audience laughs

I am performing still

I wait for the curtain to close

so I may take my bow


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