I Smile

Art by Mahmoud Farshchian

Mai L. Nissen, January 2015

Silence embraces my body cold.
Fears, memories in my heart take hold.
My bones shiver violently,
my heart fights defiantly
to shake this feeling, so out of control,
that threatens to overtake me whole;
Devours me relentlessly!
Feeding on me endlessly!

I do not move, blink or resist;
A willing victim, politely I enlist.
Too scared and weak to oppose,
the constant pressure, that steadily grows,
to conform and smile a pretty little smile;
Numbing all feelings not meant to beguile;
To be picture perfect without a flaw;
Uncomplicated, loveliest daughter you ever saw.

I smile and perform, I laugh as I present
a show of humbleness and visible assent.
My act carried out with applaud and brilliance.
My skin is thick and my heart resilient;
I close up all that I am, to sincerely aspire
to the wishes that family and friends desire.
Carefully moving through every step,
for a minute I FEEL and don’t know where to tread.

As I miss a step, confusion and uneasiness
spread through the audience ending in distress;
By doubt and confusion, my steps are inspired;
Unknown dreams my body wishes to enquire,
passionate anger and suppressed desires;
I relinquish this act finally to expire.

Everyone frightened as the stage turn on fire;
Everything they hoped lies dead on a pyre.
The stage burned down, the act destroyed;
All my steps, that I so diligently employed,
gone in a second; I dance through the fire
that eats up my mask, the lie in its entire.
Swallowed by the flames that slowly change instigate;
Change, which undeniably the illusion will depreciate.

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