His Mask

He used to practice his smile in the mirror every day,
Making sure it always reached his eyes, displaying his
Perfect dimples, His glistening white teeth.
But most of all, he wanted to make it seem natural.
He wanted it to feel natural.

Every time he smiled, it felt forced, unwanted.
Never fooling anyone, always displaying his
True emotions. The emotions he needed to mask.

Now when he smiles, it fools everyone around him.
He seems happy, content. After all, who could be
Anything but with his trophy smile? With his dimples?

He doesn’t look like the guy at the bar every night,
Drowning his sorrows. He doesn’t look like the guy
Fighting the urge to light another cigarette, to drown
His lungs in fiery smoke and feel whole.

He doesn’t look like the guy who needs someone
To talk to, to listen to him and what he’s going through.

He looks like the guys who everyone wants to talk to,
The guy with the perfect smile, perfect life.

He doesn’t look like the guy whose smile hides
So much pain, so many memories.
His smile is a mask, because it’s easier to put one on,
Than deal with the repercussions of not having one at all.

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