another unsent letter

Dear X.,

You sent me a black and white photo wrapped in red tissue paper. A photo you had taken of yourself. And I held it in my hand and closely examined your face. Yes. There was a smile. But this was no ordinary smile. This smile begged forgiveness for the lies it told. This smile begged absolution… and peace… and prayer. And I spoke to this smile and begged it to turn downwards, to be pulled as if by gravity toward your chin… that your prayer might be answered. That your tears might fall.

A storm of tears. An answered prayer.

But now, how can you go about pretending to others, when you can no longer pretend to yourself?