a mask


Shivani Murugapiran, Staff Writer

I blinked rapidly,

my eyes fluttered shut,

the puffy influx of water,

yearning to ooze from my lids.


I gritted my teeth,

praying that the liquid would rescind,

that no one would know,

that I could pretend.


The cool mask attached to my form,

Swiftly, with vehemence.


My jaw cracked sharply

as my gaze hardened.

My back straightened

as I glided away.


The mask etched onto my face,

meshed with the follicles of my skin,

seeping into my blood,

curling against my veins,


I yanked strongly,

puffing my cheeks,

scraping the outer layer,

scratching, screaming.

But it was too late.


The parasite stuck,

feeding on my fears,

consuming me,

until I and the mask became one.