Written by: Isioma West

"Okay, sit there. Smile!"
Behind this smile
I hide my inner feelings
My imperfections
My insecurities 
My depressing thoughts.
"Okay, say cheese!"
The darkness hides behind the light of my smile
My tears are inward and soundless.
I suffer silently, if not with a smile, with indifference.
The lack of confidence
The lack of sense
Hides behind this smile.
"Ready? Smile!"
But my mask of happiness--my smile--
It promises:
Everything is alright. Everything in my life is great. 
Do I deceive people or do I deceive myself?
My smile bottles my emotions
My laugh eases the pain
But my smile will never save me from myself.
"Hey, can you please smile?"
"No. I'm done smiling."
Instead, it kills me slowly inside.