behind Closed Doors

Hazel eyes staring back through the thin glass of her reflection as she glances at her features; knotty brown hair curling at the ends, creating false little smiles framing her cheeks, listless eyes finding every imperfection and criticizing every fault—the expanse of her forehead being too big, thighs not shapely enough for shorts, chest lacking. Each blink keeping tally of every flaw. She pulls her hair into a disheveled mass on the top of her head. Glancing back at the mirror she takes a deep breath gathering her thoughts to start the day.


She almost forgets to grab her mask, her only salvation, her only way to feel comfortable in her own skin, her only chance of hiding the cracks underneath, an active volcano brooding beneath the surface. The mask’s edges were repaired from the previous day, creating a smooth exterior that provides coverage from her otherwise imperfect being. She puts the fragile film on, slowing her eyes and allowing the aura of false confidence envelope her mind.


This mask compensates for the destructive thoughts she tortures herself with throughout the day. First period: Not smart enough. This thought causing the outer edges of the mask to crumble. She feels the pieces fall and run down her arms, she shivers. Third period: You’ll never be good enough for anyone. The forehead of the mask cracks, the shards running down her cheeks like tears. A finger finds its way to her left cheek, brushing away these fragile pieces.

Deep breath and fake smile. You can make it through the day.

The only inkling that she was mentally unstable was after the mask peeled from her eyes, revealing two irises smoldering with the beginnings of a fire. Her eyes now blinking, keeping tie till she’ll be able to find relief. The relief she was searching for was invisible, internal, a cord wrapped around her brain and squeezing her heart. The only cure being the purge. The purge of her thoughts, unraveling the cord around her brain. The purge of her feelings and emotions regarding herself, her being, relieving the pressure around her heart. This artificial purge flowed from the throat. But, this relief would only be temporary.


By last block the only remaining fraction of the mask covers her lips., concealing her detrimental emotion, not allowing the sharing of her well-kept problem, not allowing for a cry for help. This covering of her lips only comes off at home, when she is finally alone, left to the torture of her own thoughts.

You’re almost home. You can make it.

She slips off her shoes, wasting time till the mask finally give up. She can feel its twitching, waiting for her arrival to the end of her struggle. She finds herself leaning on the doorway of her torture chamber. The remaining piece of the mask languidly falls in slow circles to the floor. She steps forward and gives in, taking a deep breath fueling the bonfire in her mind.










These burning embers flooding minds.

Corrupting an otherwise well-being.

Creeping in by mouths of others.

Not good enough

Tip-toeing, hiding in solemn corners.

Searing the walls with their presence.

Awaiting their awakening.

Not good enough

Slight seepage,

Filling buried cracks with gasoline and pervading thoughts.

Tears shed, compensating for the overflow of emotion.

Not good enough

Fire burning,

Destroying all barriers and dams built to prevent this flood.

Not good enough

Tears. Purge. Repeat.

Not good en—

Purge. Repeat.

Not go—



Tears fueling the quickly igniting fire, now felt at the back of the throat.

Head lifted, slightly sated.

This mental fire dissolving.

Slowly extinguishing, replaced with the mist of relief.

Only to become habitual.


Promising only once, only now.

Suppressing the after burn by building up the crumbled barriers.

Still thinking…not good enough?


This poem is about: 
My community
Our world
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 


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