You wear a mask on your face.
It’s Mardi Gras every day.

No one sees
the tears dripping off of your chin,
or the stains coloring your cheeks from crying not too long ago,
or hears the pain in your voice as it cracks,
you quickly clear your throat.

They don’t see.
They don’t know.
They don’t hear you.

They just know the smile
you sprint to turn on like Christmas lights and
that special laugh reserved
for those particular moments.