Put on your mask. Hide underneath.

Else others will see you. They’ll see that you bleed.

 

Dress up. Choose your costume. Conceal your real name.

Then no one can stop you from fortune or fame.

 

Hide as anonymous. One lost in the crowd.

Control who gets glimpses. Even then only shrouds.

 

Deny all your struggles. Lie about your pain.

Others will see them. That’s unwanted shame.

 

Hide from the horror of losing what’s loved.

If they see your true colors. They’ll leave you. They’ll run.

 

The mask is the safest. A tested disguise.

Though you can see past it might trick others’ eyes.

 

Masks grant perfection; protection from pain.

A shield to your weakness; an umbrella in rain.

 

Hide from your feelings and abstracts like love.

Keep the world beneath you. And let nothing above.

 

So put on your mask. Don’t you dare take it off.

Or the world will hurt you. And hurting will cost.

——

 

If I take off the mask I’ll stand so exposed.

The truth to confront from my head to my toes.

 

This mask cages demons. It’s darkness, despair.

Yet I long for the sunshine, the wind in my hair.

 

I. DON’T. WANT. THIS. MASK!

The world must see. This is who I am.

And my soul must break free.

 

— M.E.