Regain

love-takes-off-masks-that-we-fear-we-cannot-live-without-and-know-we-cannot-live-within-18I would wear a mask

made of fur or hide

that would mold its outline to mine

until they were fused indistinguishable

you would say

why do you wear a mask?

don’t you want people to see your face?

and I would reply

no not yet

not even afterward

I wish to exist outside of definition

do not mark me with your label

I wish to be and not be

I wish to hide and be seen

in the eclipse we call

reality

no more honest

than compartments

are capable of containing whole facsimile

or props can be used for their pretence

a make-believe globe cannot a world lend

they are hollow beasts, the mounted heads

glaring from faded walls

it seems at night they can

growl but it is merely

a trick of light

like a magician from emptiness

pulls

delusion

we all of us are conjurers of reality

deciding our avatars with fickle choice

and where lies among our pretending

one brave enough to bare

themselves to elements of judgement

without veil

without succor

they are naked before storm

approbation beating their rendered limbs

like headmaster lifts the cane and repeats

swish, swish, say after me

I am not worthy

who shall stand despite the welt

defy the master

revive our guilt

till truth be told and masks set to flame

we need not hide, we need to regain

 

Such things are only in your head

All those who have gone before

stand behind with arms crossed

asking not to return

withholding themselves

long I felt their push

leave us

go on

on to the future

we are but transient wonders

signing the way ahead

maybe you thought us unconditional

such things are only in your head

fiction as the lullaby soothes

surfacing over truth in reluctant plaster

truth is

we were no more than a moment in time

chaffing against northern wind

not friends, despite collected words

just language, ticked sayings, signs and symbols

laugh at your faith in us

we had none in you

still the journey is undertaken

still the road steps ahead heavy skirted and leaden hearted

watching stars for their map

only disregard stared back

pain in the dying glitter

of false promises and forgotten allegiance

until my own walk journeyed

beyond those memories

of closed doors and turned heads

names I knew once as well as my own

palms with futures I thought part of hennaed auburn

they packed their bags and returned

to the spaces in their universe

not inhabiting me

with time the absence

once raw and gaping

healed

I realized then

some people exist

to set you free

in bidding goodbye

cease to feature

like crossroads

stand solid and permanent

until they are passed

by westbound train