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my colors are vibrant, my smile is true
softness and welcoming exuded
like the inviting petals of a flower
that look too pure and too true
to contain anything that could hurt you
though I’ve become so much worse
saturated in toxins
with ever-spreading tainted roots
at least my facade must still be intact
since the poison behind each nod
each “yes, sir” and “of course, ma’am” isn’t seen
since people still show such surprise
when the guise slips
and curses fall from my lips
I used to be a flower
simple and clean
I’m an oleander bloom
red and bright