there’s an outfit i keep in my closet

there’s an outfit i keep in my closet

it doesn’t fit me anymore
but it’s what other people expect me to wear

i slip it on when i need to
and i try to keep it clean

not pristine and pressed, mind you:
it has to be rumpled enough so that it looks like i still like to wear it
a skin i need to appear to be comfortable in

but for goodness sake, it needs to be clean enough
that i don’t look like a complete slob

these days, i have a new wardrobe
a new look
and i’d like to wear it around town
show it off
seen and be seen

but i don’t know if it’s safe
it’s not the current style
it makes me stand out

and i don’t want to stand out
i just want to wear what makes me comfortable
without judgment


and i wonder:
why do other people care so much how i look?
why is the fit of my skin on my body their business?
why do i have to laud their impeccable sense of style
while i keep my own look

in a closet?
behind a mask?

i would love to just be myself
to show you the me beneath this costume


i’m afraid

people have seen me
stripped down, dressed up
looking like the real me

and though they said that’s what they’d wanted to see
i could tell:
it really wasn’t

so more and more lately
i’ve been putting on my old outfit
slipping into my old skin
playing that old part

and though i feel a little bit safer
i feel a lot bit


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