Masquerade Party

August 18, 2023

Two people in one,

is that how you feel?


The reflection in the mirror:

a collection of masks

used and reused


Named and unnamed,

each mask is

attached with a purpose in disguise


A different mask worn for different teams

knowing what counts as foul play and

what gets you thrown out of the game


Put on, take off

dress up

an everyday Halloween


Some masks, masquerade

but these masks are authentic

gifted to us for free


Masks at home,

fabric made from helping hands

chained together

always a role played to please others,



Masks outside,

fabric made from individual hands,

survivor mode

always discovering your true self,



Masks with one team

come with offerings of food

and illogical gender norms


Masks with the other team

sometimes come with gender equality

and feelings of loneliness


With these masks, we play a balancing game

never truly belonging

but always winning


Susanna Semerdzhyan is an ESL Instructor and poet from California. She was born in Armenia but grew up in Los Angeles. Drawing on her experience of being an Armenian-American, her poetry is about identity and touches on themes of multiculturalism, multilingualism, empowerment, authenticity, discovery, confidence, community, and belonging.


Featured image by Rach Teo on Unsplash