Avoid the Mirror

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By Dominic Paoletti

The mask suppresses the monster.
I pass through each day a stranger in my own skin.
I see you, I’ll smile, and all the while, I can’t but defile,

Lies facing inward, latch to my surroundings.
What am I if not a chameleon, changing skins, to the whims of others?
This silent rage, hidden deeper with age, I turn the page, 
I am grey…

I’ve robbed myself of agency, of muse.
Trapped in a make believe of my own making.
Each day a waste, a life without taste, I stand in place,

Selfless at the cost of self.
Tethered down by the expectations of this world.
This constant pry, always living a lie, my eyes turn dry,
I can’t even run.

Love has betrayed and ensnared my heart.
To rip off this mask would be to reveal an unknown husk.
Relinquished by pride, tormented inside, with nowhere to hide,
As I avoid the mirror.

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