twenty-five masks sleep softly folded atop a wooden corner
nearby sits a trash bag filled with empty bottles
my name neatly printed on labels
“did it help?” she wondered
“no, not at all,” she thought in answer
numb, erratically irascible, overly emotional, unmotivated, and heavier. the paperwork sitting untouched for two years tells the story. videos, letters, words, and pain all reveal a result that not even time can account for. it isn’t pain that matters so much as revelation, and without revelation, all would have been for not. the masks offer no more protection than the bottles, who’ve lied, and have now died with an impersonator’s name on their lips.
it was always okay to reach out for love, to in fact ask for it outright. there’s no need to hide it anymore, or feel shame in how far the mind, eyes, hands, and arms attempted to stretch in the perception of holding on to it.