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masquerade. This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Once more, I find myself as guest of honor in this life of a masquerade ball,
Where the music is replaced with the silent, yet thundering beats of a million shattered hopes,
Where the bar serves poison in a crystal glass disguised as romance lyrics.
Where the dancing is instead shivering in a corner of a dark mist of emotion,
Where the talking is absent, for it is much too difficult, let alone breathing,
Where the ones who ask “shall we dance?” are the very ones who gracefully hand you the blade,
The very blade that brings you your temporary relief,
Yet your slow, agonizing death.
Where smiles are merely masks,
Masks to ward off attention and one too many “are you ok?”’s.
This is where laughter is forced, with pain.
The pain of knowing the truth behind the lies.
The fear of knowing that you will never be understood,
No one is here to walk your path with you,
To hold your hand, so that you won’t draw blood,
To wipe the streams of hate off of your numb skin,
To watch your every step, so that you won’t walk straight into a noose,
Your noose, the one you created, you desire, you despise.
This is where your insides burn and scream at the sound of “I love you”.
This is where you hold back stinging tears at the words “I need you.”
This is where you clench your fists at “I will never leave you.”
This is where you grind your teeth at “you are my everything”.
This is where your biggest fear is love, affection, even sympathy
Because in this masquerade ball, it is hate, lies and evil greed.
You shiver here, at every intimate touch, not with pleasure, but with deep hatred.
Here, you run away from “you’re so beautiful”,
You know it’s translation is deadly.
Here, your reflection is darkness, hollow darkness.
You search desperately for a way out of here, here has little air.
You gasp for your life with every stabbing lie, looking into your eye.
You gasp because you love here.
Here, love is devoured by the jaws of lies.
Your love feeds the very ones who starve you.
Starve you, here, of color, of taste, of sound, of joy.
Of understanding, here, of stability.
You no longer exist, here, you are dust, you are of no worth.
Here, you wait and wait to escape,
You crawl, for you cannot stand,
The nasty lies will only bring you to your knees again.
One thing you tell yourself here is to hold on, to hope.
One thing you do not realize is that here, there is only one way out.
The ticket out of here is never to love again.
Here is where you tumble to your knees, your head in your hands and you scream
“BUT HOW CAN I NOT LOVE?” you cry “WHY DID I LOVE?”
You lock yourself in this masquerade ball,
Where smiles burn to ashes,
And love is the very thing that brought you here,
It chains and traps you here.





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