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Malia Apr 25
I smile in the mirror
Trying not to cry.
I cannot comprehend
How my red eyes
And white teeth
Can coexist like this.
If only I could will
Myself to be happy.
I have to be happy
For the others.

So I grin
Because I read
That it could make
Me happy.
neth jones Apr 6
all my past
      imposes on my breath today

i enter a grand mosaic public building
        and on goes my medical face mask
i join the back of the queue with my documents in one hand
            and my numbered butcher ticket
                          in the other
i admire the mosaics
               a jarring tide of art against the bureaucratic purpose
                     of these rooms
gauzed in with own product exhaust
       all my past  is attending    
  patted  into my breath
    baiting remembrance with unsubtle notes
for example :
   integrated spittings of 'drum' tobacco (i quit a decade ago)
horning catches of cologne every boy used as a teen
seasonal scents  unweaned from deep in my system
(some reigned in from the different countries
                                                    i lived in or visited)
then i am frisked back to infancy   with breast milk and rusks
it's all there    a basking flippancy
all there in musk about my face
  one fragrance after another

it's an honest relief
     to host an alternative to my 'old man' breath
           but odd and concerning
something of the brain ?
date of original version : 07/11/22
Malia Apr 2
“I laugh when I’m sad,”
I said.

And then
I giggled
busy pitter patters
of feet, at least
to be busy
these humans,
these flesh sacks,
place their bags
their unconsciousness
on this barnes & noble’s
coffee tables
whose chairs aren’t comfortable

yet, here they sit, beside me
amongst me
and an old
ancient, it seems now,
version of me would’ve cursed them
while pretending to associate
to relate
to give a ****
for doing so,
for raising my anxiety,
for reflecting what i truly was,
at least
to identify with that narrow
window of my self

some collide
intuitively, whatever the hell you brand it

we all seek
always elsewhere,
never with our miserable
anxious selves

and if we can’t connect
we, at least
to do so
much like our riddling iphones
desperate for battery
for a sort of
for life
somewhere else
else rather than within

to be alone, amongst the crowds,
without our phones, our books,
our lovers, our seven dollar coffees,
our ******* egg white breakfast sanwhiches

almost as if these things
are essential to the unsavory
cravings and desires, or
dare i say

we pretend
to work, to live
we read, without reading
we speak, without thinking,
we speak, without speaking,

“to be, or not to be.”

we don’t care for
how could we?
we’re just so

at all


people pretend.
Malia Mar 1
She’s on top of the world
But she’s up there all alone.
She’s a goddess disguised
But her feet can’t find the ground

If you
Read her face you’ll see
The seasons never show.
Not new,
It’s a makeup routine for the ages
And no, no nobody knows the way
She’ll change into stone.
This is a part of a song that I’m writing but it hasn’t been finished yet.
it is no surprise
that it feels
so suffocating
with a mask held
this firmly in place
Jeremy Betts Jan 28
...and I
I don't even bother to ask
I'm not interested in hearing another lie
So I
I just touch up my mask
A little tape and glue should be enough to get by
But I
I finally realize it's an impossible task
Physical and mental abuse still not as brutal as goodbye
Will I...
Will I?

Jellyfish Jan 17

She likes video games, reading books
and watching movies with family
She always day dreams
and plays outside alone, imagining.

She looks up to her big sister,
and likes to sing together in her car
Her little sister is annoying
She's always the shining star.

But together all three will walk to the park.


She likes to color, play guitar and sing
She dances in her room without worrying
One wall is covered with a teen pop sensation,
Others hold her poems and art that reveal her struggles and wishes.

She liked the attention singing got her
It made her feel like she was worthy.
She did her best to live up to
The things said by her family


She was sad often and preferred to be alone
She still played guitar but played games the most,
She liked writing poems and songs,
They let her express herself in any tone

She had plans to go far away one day,
with her best friend she would escape.
There'd be hello kitty tunnels
and fun had every day.

She fell victim to infatuation
which lead to many hearts being broke,
Forced to play outside,
she'd swing away her trauma while grasping ropes.


She's quiet, she stays in her room alone, she feels unwanted.
The internet is where she felt she belonged
Most people would hear her out
and wouldn't ask her to play them a song.

She was forced to go somewhere she was needed
She got an education out of it and an identity crisis.


She is independent, but still feels scared
She is working to understand her life
and is moving forward with care.

So don't call me Becca,
It reminds me of those years-
the times I was saddest and living in fear.

Becca had a mask that Rebecca has out grown.
The mask is smaller now and is becoming unsown.
It's been a painful process, the mask really hurt
This is where I'm at now, trying to unlearn.
Jellyfish Jan 17
I'm not here to judge your perspective
We were in the same place but our childhoods were different
We saw and felt different things
It's not a bad word, it's the way we perceived and lived through everything

We may have been in the same places,
but couldn't see through each other's faces.
We both had our bad experiences
and found ways to get through them

It's been so hard for me to let go
but after we spoke I think I finally know,
I can't do the work for you,
You have to want to evolve for you.

I can't tell you every story I have
and believe you'll understand where I stand or where I've stood,
You have your own desk where you'll write your book
Although it hurt, because I had so much hope.

You preached so much to me about how we should be close-
You told me how you wished for a relationship to grow,
You said I never shared, never asked and never cared.
I feel like I tried so much but your words make me feel unaware.

It hurt when you told me I hide,
Probably because there's some truth to it,
that hurt me deeply inside.
I have masked around our family for as long as I can remember.

I learned so early that I wasn't what was wanted
I was only loved when I went along and nodded
I always agreed, except for when I couldn't
I'd say no to things to avoid the acting

I hated that I had to be a certain way
To stay free of your judgement
I couldn't wear the shoes I wanted,
or play the songs I liked in the car without hearing your homophobic comments

Having to become every expectation
It is how I have lived for so long
I'm so burnt out now
and I finally don't have to be strong.

I went along with it to avoid the uncomfortable feelings I had,
Every time I would have to be around you
I put up with things I should've never had to.
I'm talking about your husband putting your cat on my face when I was asleep and he knew I was allergic.

The more I reflect, the more I see it
Everything you've projected on me
To avoid your own feelings
The clothes, the music, the comments, the expectation of who you wanted me to be-

I'm sorry you feel like you can't keep growing
Now that you're older and have your own family
It must be so painful to be stagnant
When you want to fly with sunflowers

I hate that I make you feel negatively
and there's nothing I can say to help you
I tried the hardest I could to be honest
and because I did my best, I am now free of my mask of burdens
Every time I'm asked to play guitar or wear a certain outfit, eat different foods, be any kind of different I immediately feel drained because of these experiences that come to my mind.
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