Let me be a monster, or a child.
Does not play well with others. Let me
be cruel for once; owner of the ferocious
dog, unapologetic of its snarl. I, too, am feral.
I, too, have teeth that sink into animal.
Let me tell the truth, risk losing you for good.
I have earned this darkness. Paid for it
with my own sympathetic ear. I have coddled
the dumbest of beasts, offered the softest
parts of myself as a place to stay the night.
You should see my wall of masks.
Each a trophy of kindness. Each holier than thou.
A museum of painted smiles, concerned brows.
The one I wear now is made of cracked
bone. Handcrafted in the womb. Grows
heavier by the day. It says I care what you think.
Come closer. See how fragile I can be under pressure.