• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 04
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Honest Spots

Milk weed makes monarchs poisonous.
Viceroy butterflies mimic
its spots to frighten predators.

After World War I, an artist
made ceramic masks
for disfigured soldiers,
so they could leave
their homes without
facing people’s revulsion.

People smear a smile under
haunted eyes.
Say ‘I’m good,’
when it took a conquest of will
to get out of bed.
They hope for safe spots
to surrender their true emotions,
but fear predators or revulsion.
Each of us can make space, one
honest encounter at a time.