There’s a real life Gepetto

Who sculpts laughter onto grumpy puppet faces

To compensate for all the joy

The world has lost.


I watch him tear paper lies apart,

Recast them into papier-mâché moulds

Until they take the shape of masks

Familiar strangers slip on

Before carelessly shedding their skin

As they head out into the night.


In the glaring light of morning,

Chipped off facades litter the sidewalk:

Forgotten faces

Breathed to life

By hand.


Still, Gepetto sits

At his work bench,

Hums tunes long forgotten

And smiles.