Wear this mask over your face.
Be sure to hide your feelings displaced.
I’m jaded, snide, and too emotional
because I cry.

Getting good at sealing your fate.
The man in the machine says
hurry up, now wait.

And all of the things I create,
my next mistake.

Sin against nature.
I can’t much stand you’re hatred.
Distorted worldly views.
I really hate, me.

They fuel the ego.
Thinking we won’t know,
but when decay sets in they win
again and again.

Shatter the mirror,
because I’m seeing clearer.

Judge me please.
Do my scars not appease you?

Is this making sense?
I feel you’re growing tense.
Is my honesty creating discomfort?

I really hope so.

Kaci Skiles Laws is a closet cat-lady and creative writer who reads and writes voraciously in the quiet moments between motherhood and managing Crohn's Disease. She was a 2023 winner for Button Poetry's short form contest, and her short story Eugene was nominated for a pushcart prize in 2022 by Dead Skunk Mag. Her most recent poetry has appeared in 3Elements Review, River Teeth Journal, Blood Tree Literature, and elsewhere. Her poetry books, "Strange Beauty" and "Summer Storms" are available on Amazon, and her most recent chapbook, "Smile, Child" is available from Bottlecap Press.