By Karlie Mickanuik

I’ve gotten quite good at wearing this mask
This mask I created so many years ago
This mask that gets a little harder to remove each time I try to take it off

When I wear the mask no one can tell what I’m really feeling
It’s easy this way
No one can see how the accident is playing on repeat in my mind
The mask allows me to hide my winces and urges to scream
The mask keeps me safe from having to let people know I’m not okay

The mask makes my makeup free face seem confident in myself
When in reality I enjoy the colours and art I can create on my face
But today my mask hides the fact that I couldn’t put any on today cause for sheer inability to roll out of bed until noon

The mask fits well on my face
It’s the same shape of my nose and lips and no one can tell when I’m wearing it
I seem normal, sweet, even funny at times
But underneath is not quite what it seems

I loathe this mask
I loathe it everyday
Why can’t I be the mask
Why can’t the mask become me
Why when it’s silent and I take the mask off I break…
So I’ll continue to wear this mask