Every morning begins that weary ritual
of creating an acceptable face
for carefree joy and laughter.
There is no acceptable face
for crying, there is no paint
on the drugstore shelves
to complement salty tears.
So this morning is like any other
as the task is to create a mask
that will deceive the greatest
there is nothing left to decipher
but layers of paint upon paint.
Emotions were brushed over long ago
and now thrash beneath the heavy veneer
only to be drawn out and spread across
my notebooks when I grow too tired
to hold up the disguise.