Smothering Sympathy

Though I know my mind is impossibly mad,
why must you say, “I know you’re really sad,”
telling me how I feel
as if I wouldn’t know any better?

You think you know what’s real?
Can you read me down to the letter?

You will not know
by what I show.

I’m a tightrope-tumbling, timid chameleon,
shining
opaque, like fine-polished carnelian.

My surface is a still life of art class fruit.
Look a little closer to see the cold truth.

I’m not fake. I’m dying softly to remain hidden.
Though it’s only a stigma, I feel it’s forbidden
to speak about my multifarious madness — 
my intrepid suffering from monstrous mental disorders.

Honestly, there’s so much more than sadness.
There’s pain and joy and grief and rage.
There’s more than could fit on any page.
You’d think all that’s there is too much for two shoulders.

But I’m not dead yet, so don’t bring me down.
I’m breathing and singing and laughing everyday.
Though my happiness is not always around,
pointing out its absence won’t help it stay.

I’ve learned to accept, despite what I say,
I am rarely, if ever, truly okay.
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