i’m splitting at the seams.
one arm gently pulls, the other yanks-
never a moment of silent bliss,
i bite my lip until crimson liquid seeps out the corners of my mouth
staining my peplum top.
distant memories creep into my mind to warn of the shame i’ll find
in this game of hide-and-seek
if i let them see that my smile isn’t real
and my blood prefers to stay in my veins.
So I don’t stop.
I move my lips into position
and wipe the blood from my chin.
And press ‘play’ on the cassette tape that reads:
"of course I’m happy",
because I can’t form those words myself.