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Masks, True Mirrors, and Shadows

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I. The Awakening

The Scream By Edvard Munch – National Gallery of Norway 8 January 2019 (upload date) by coldcreation, Public Domain

Last fall, when my soul broke free, 

My body became numb,

And the midnight air became frost; 

Stars fallin’,

I had a dream, a shadowy, dark dream; 

Walking amidst  a million mirrors,

In the lands of  faceless men, 

Living the lives, fears, visions,

And deaths of a million men.  

In my dream, I watched powerful men, 

Phenomenal women and great nations, 

Melt like a lover’s heart on spell,

At the sheer image of disillusioned,

Beauties and godlike perfections,

Whilst despising their true selves 

As cast by their shadows.

I hated with passion, 

How they avoided truth like plague.

The universe heard me lament, 

And granted me a wish, one  wish:

I “wanna be anyone and everyone.”

 I wanna ‘fit in,’ I whispered,

And Mother Nature handed me a mask.


II. The Quest

Sir Galahad, the Quest for the Holy Grail by Arthur Hughes (1870)Source

Unlike the path of the shadow,

Which is black and white,

Or the way of the mirror,

 Which is grey and full of delusions,

The way of the mask is dark, 

And dangerous but full of hope. 

With a mask,

 I could walk among the elite,

Become a legend and create,

 A mark on the wall of history;

Maybe  Zeus or Shiva, 

With a flaming fork for an emblem.

The mask makes me as formless as water,

 Powerful; A camouflage:

Turning black to fit into the safety of darkness,

 And white to enjoy the cold air,

 Basking in a sun of winter dreams.


III. Imperfect Perfection

“The Absinthe Drinker” By Édouard Manet – Google Cultural Institute, Public Domain

‘Tis been only a fortnight, 

And I have had on a million masks,

I have lost my path and faith,

My self-image distorted; 

Shattered!

But then,

 I have one more mask to battle,

 The darkness of my reflection.

Snowy powder for my bloody cheeks; 

A long, black pony,

For the deep crevice in my mind, 

Two time-stamps of the thumb,

To break the sword through my heart.

Blue braces for my crooked smile,

The bottle faces a blank page,

A dead god for my redemption.

Six-inch heels to heighten my worth, 

Black perfumed paste for my cracked, 

Cherry lips. 

One more mask for my loin, 

One for the reputation; 

One for the community. 

Red mask, black mask, gold mask, 

Smiley mask, concrete mask, Chucky,

Mask. 

When will I ever stop needing a

 Mask to find meaning!

IV. The Fall

Gustave Courbet, The Desperate Man, 1843–45. Image via Wikimedia Commons

 Slowly, 

A fortnight has turned into a lifetime, 

And am faceless, Lost!

I don’t find safety in darkness,

Or meaning in winter dreams,

The  snowy powder can’t hold,

The bleeding veins in my cheeks.

I am lost in a hollow hallway of confusion,

Vanity and destruction. 

I have run out of masks, 

And all those I have had on,

Are fading away, slowly, painfully; 

Witherin’,

Into that one mask that cannot be changed:

 The Shadow.    

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