By Pretending To Be Perfect, I’ve Led Others To Believe That I Am

I have never claimed to be perfect, but perfectionism is the disease that grips my motives and mind. This is not who I am, but the mere illusion of perfectionism creates the mirage that this is entirely me. There is no grace, no allotment for fallout should I fail to reach the standard. The problem is that I am the mastermind, the evil genius that crafted a monster I can no longer control. In this intricate, inexplicable relationship I am in, I know it is toxic. By pretending to be perfect, I have led others to believe that I am somehow capable of being more than human.

My poem, “Angles,” is my plea for you to see beyond the façade I present. There are always more sides to a story.


At the right angle,
I look put together.
Lines paint me refined,
but someone smeared the ink.

I look put together,
painted with empathy,
but someone smeared the ink,
filling me with apathy.

Painted with empathy,
sympathy –
filling me with apathy –
becomes my company. My pathology.

Sympathy –
a reaction to guilty thanks –
becomes my company. My pathology
in conversations laced with accusations.

A reaction to guilty thanks:
I’m smiling
in conversations laced with accusations –
I’m lying.

I’m smiling
through teeth tight like a zipper.
I’m lying
with a hollow laugh.

Through teeth tight like a zipper
I grind my words into dust.
With a hollow laugh
I’m begging for salvation.

I grind my words into dust,
truth rotting behind wrought-iron bars.
I’m begging for salvation
from quiet contemplation.

Truth rotting behind wrought-iron bars
invisible to your point of view, free
from quiet contemplation.
Please move.

Invisible to your point of view, free
from the responsibility of knowing me.
Please move.
Not every angle is right.

Originally published in The Regis vol. 8 no. 1

Featured image via Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash


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