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Imagine waking up everyday

Getting out of bed to seize the day

Followed by a ritual and daily task

Of brushing your teeth, washing your face, and putting on your mask

Then walking out your inhabitant like everything is okay

You know, déjà vu of yesterday

That’s life for me.

Look being this mask that too is what you’d see

Though this mask is purely a façade in which prison life enables me to wear

To survive I must put on this tough exterior and act like I don’t care

Not to mention society superficial standards

That teach us that real men can’t be candor

Especially when it comes to crying and expressing our feelings

So emotional suppression becomes a way of living

But beneath this façade lies raw emotions

That flows like the current of a Tsunamic Ocean

Emotions such as:

When I find myself wanting a hug

A warm embrace to let me know I'm loved and more than a so called thug

Or when I secretly cry out to my mom

Because to her, I'm still her innocent son

Or like last night when I felt so down and sad

As I reflected on the laughs I use to share with my deceased dad

And felt so helpless like I lacked power

Or every now and again when I get depressed and want to die

But somehow I find hope in the form of little white lies

These are emotions that I hide

That I keep stuffed deep down inside

Which in turn is compensated with excessive pride

To expose what I feel would leave me vulnerable

So it becomes necessary to keep it concealed in tight

But at the end of the night

When all the lights turn off

That’s when the mask comes off

And all the lies get tossed

And comfortably I lie in my own skin

In these moments I an unmasked and don’t have to pretend.

Title

UNMASKED