I see them.
They are broken. They are bruised. They are beaten and they are dragged on bare feet and soft hands and aching knees from kneeling.
The smiles that they wear are enemies of their souls as the two do not share the same image.
I hear them.
Their voices sound like facsimiles of joy, while their hearts contradict them in their agonizing screams.
Their teardrops make sounds as they fall on the floor, but they never complain, so their tears go unnoticed by those who can't fathom their suffering.
I know them.
The hands that I hold and the laughs that I know and the years that I've befriended their pain.
They talk with loud sound to drown out the noise of their footsteps as they step towards destruction.
I feel them.
The fragility of their heartbeats and the monarchs of their darkness that wrap around their skin like a lover.
They feel like swords in the side that slice through the ribs and scrape over the heart just to leave a fine mark so they'll never forget that they aren't in control.
They bear weight on their shoulders that leave curves in their backs and sadness in their eyes that false smiles cannot hide. But they go on smiling like we all are convinced.
I mourn them.
The loss of their youth before they've even turned old. The loss of their smiles before they mirrored false truth. The loss of a love that was theirs, but that they did not want to need.
And all of their brokenness and all of the bruises that stripped the joy out of their souls are carved out of lead.
And as they save face, they abandon their hearts.
And their pain remains unnoticed.