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No Filter (Poetry)

This is me

without the mask.

Without the cloak of lip-stain

nor foundation’s clever


This is me

without the guise

of alcohol,

nor the veil

of psychotropic drugs.

Without the cover

of cigarettes,

the shroud of sex,

the facade of sugar,

nor the veneer

of narcotics.

This is me

before leaving the house,

not knowing

what the day would bring.

This is me

with that sly half smirk

teasing my face.

With those knowing eyes

that can’t un-see,

that have witnessed things

that shouldn’t have been.

Trauma incurred,

Nirvana on earth,

secrets so deep,

they can’t be whispered.

Realms and worlds

filled with magic and glee

that only existed

to me.

This is me—

The pain goes deep.

But oh,

so does the love.

The light stretches far,

a twinkling star,

within a constellation formed

to guide the lost—

And will continue to do so

long after I’m gone.

My tears flow from gratitude

and from strength.

How I discipline my body

and train my mind.

How I prioritize my health

above all else—

This is me.

This is me.

And I am standing here

without the masks.

It’s okay for you

to see me now.

This is me

and damn, I’m proud.

Every storm shows me

that I know how to sail.

Every smile shows me

there’s an end to each wail.

I am free to be loved

as me—All of me.

Not for my masks,

but for my authenticity:

A beauty

that needs no filter.

I’m not scared

to be me


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