Put On A Happy Face

Written by: John Heck

Put on a happy face
when I release taut fingers 
from your pallid cheeks.
Promises and empty lies 
are sported clichés
that spoil a silenced vocabulary.
A quieted understanding we've
vocally committed to;
barks a matted-jackal’s constitution -
perceiving morose consequences
of blind subservience.
Put on a happy face
and fetch me dinner.

Ever flickering nuances,
once ignited a Brigadooned morning sunrise - 
where woolen-blackened comforters 
backlit our sordid differences.
Now, our prom attire has been burned.
The carnations, the orchids - have perished.
The beguine hasn’t begun.
It has ended. 
Finalized and fortunately forgotten.
A pale orchid-colored icepack,
for your left eye,
would match your handbag and shoes
quite nicely.
Put on a happy face 
and lint-guard the 
disheveled derelict.

Forever falling forward, we've suddenly landed.
No need for saline solution anymore;
I cry when I hap hazardously laugh.
A silenced vocabulary realized the words 
tryst and trust was separated by one letter;
why or you…or me, for that matter
completes the unfinished symphony.

The disenchanted beguine 
floats into a tear-filled 
Cinderella dank nightfall –
as I stare into the cornea of a 
brittled pink carnation. 
My hand, like a fringed strop,
needs to remove the strains of 
a “Mea-Culpa” leitmotif and flog
the iniquities of one’s self.
Put on a happy face, goddamnit
and tell me
why you’re gone!

Toasted marshmallows is a perfume 
created for misguided Girls Scouts.
Fervent mongrels who refrain from selling 
photo-pressed carnations and 
poisonous orchids - dumbly courtsey
when idiotic
adolescent daydreams prevail upon
the blatantly obvious.
Thirteen stitches 
and a numerous array
of callous welts 
reprised our endless beguine.

Passion is said to perish in embers.
One last charcoal 
for us
to eye and envy.
A burnt carnation.
A scarred, trembling orchid.
The smoldering remains we'll inhale -
when this lost and lonely
soldier removes the 
smudged greasepaint from
his broken fingertips and eyelashes
to painfully and pitifully

put on a happy face
just for you.