what’s left when it’s all stripped away?

when the veneer has been removed

when the paint has been stripped

when we’re all naked

staring into a void

desperate for approval

to be seen,



validated —

“i am a person

worthy of existing.”

and instead

all we see staring back

are smiling, polished faces

unable to return our gaze

like a two-way mirror.

and the person being interrogated

is you

by you

as to why,


no —

as to how

we’ve allowed ourselves

to fall so deeply into this hole

that we no longer


who we were

before we crawled in…

but then we remember

that it’s not our fault

that it’s been engineered like this

by people

dead set

on one goal:




sometimes we forget

freedom is an option…

or maybe more aptly:

sometimes we forget

which option

is freedom.

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