No one knows
That my laughter holds
A silent scream,
And my smile hides
An aching heart.

No one sees
Beyond the facial mask:
The bright eyes,
The rows of white teeth,
The nodding “good.”

No one sees
That I'm an empty shell, thin and cracked,
That can shatter
At a touch, in a moment, and crumble
Into a heap of shards.

Day, then day, then day
Again, and night, and sleepless night,
And one hour
Trailing after another in an endless line—
I, a painted shell.

If only
Someone knew; if only by
A miracle
Another soul would seep life
Into mine.