The Mask

By Bella Temkin, TIWP Student

If masks are only in cartoons,
then that is what our world must be.
To comprehend that they exist,
you must see beneath.

So sweet, so pure they are,
reeking of innocence
and whispering of addictive fantasies.
Only the strong can curb the temptation.
Only the real can conquer the disguised.

They seal the cracks of imperfection
and shield the vice
oozing from the corners of his lips.
One may think they are strong,
yet—the trap still welcomes visitors, again and again.

And once you fall,
once you have let your heart defeat your brain,
that is when the poison sets in,
a poison that changes you.

A poison that changes your definition of hope,
and a poison that changes your definition of trust,
a poison that warps someone you know,
into someone you thought you knew.

A poison that will always be there,
almost a necessary evil,
to poke and to prod
and to whisper—
you must see beneath,
before you let in.

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