If I could put pen to page
put aside this storefront smile
turn my heart inside out
perhaps you’d know this broken one.
The spilled ink would reveal
a different soul from who you know
arranged just so to please the eye
to give you comfort when I lie.
Confidence is the painted shield
thin as the ice in late fall
hoping that nobody walks
across the sheen to break within.
The cracks will clearly show the way
to frightened fathoms far below
where bravery is a distant wish
put forward for you to see.
Look beyond the rosy glow
there you’ll find the ribs that show
starvation for the touch that feeds
a hunger my skin cannot release.
I’d scream if the ache was pain
longing for a glancing rub
why must the space be so wide
between the hands of you and I?
You can drop kind words into my well
conversation made to fill a void
most appreciated though the depths
pass through the earth far below.
There is so much I would share
encyclopedias could not contain
the memories of a world combined
held by lips that cannot talk.
These things I could let you know
if walls did not hold me back
from the world I try to fool
with platitudes meant to sooth.
If I spoke these words out loud
you’d see that I am so much less
than perfection we’re meant to have
instilled in the storefront smile.