So many smiles are gaping wounds
Deftly slashed into faces.
The spaces between what we mean
And how we hope to seem
Are the distances between parted lips.
Our false visages belie skittishness
And those shameful resistances
That compel us to embellish
With garish grins and rictal expressions.
Curtains will drop, facades like a solar eclipse
Your eyes have never lied.
A glinting of light
That breaks through the crinkled cracks in the corners of your eyes,
Lingers, then slowly fades without a fight
Skin smoothing to stillness like snack wrappers uncrumpling on the ground
A smile is an absence of flesh,
An aperture always in flux.
It is a wound, it is not a wound.
It is a mask of obfuscation, it is a life force that erupts
Wounds reveal or conceal
A smile can be realA smile ought to be real