Sylvia, Anne!
How can you write in this sorrowful state?
Where a mood hangs like a coat of stone,
its icy weight relentless and paralyzing. 

Your fear is realized
as a casual encounter triggers
a rehearsed cheerful facade
with death behind your eyes. 

Your mask has become so refined
by the sleepless hours spent
perfecting the detail of a fictitious smile
you hope will resemble the real McCoy. 

All while hating yourself for
carving it in the first place.

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