Masks and Madness

my mask is worn and frayed
constant use has ruined the cloth
threadbare soiled torn
no longer hiding my intentions 
my desires my passions
my anger my disgust
unable to comply with social rules
I smile at funerals 
I am naked 
my face has become a marquee

your mask like Juno is two faced 
executioner or angel with no predictability 
when moving between polar opposites
racing thoughts with unbridled motion
thousands of jack hammer voices screaming in your head
elation then guilt the consequences of mania
then guilt about guilt 
all the while being aware
you have become the Russian bear 
standing balancing on the red-striped ball 
your mind can never stop moving

we avoid some meals
all are silent
we seek distractions 
we read different pages from different books
there is no agreement
we turn away from each other’s unmasked faces
not ready for reality
fearful of honesty
and the embarrassment 
of having nothing left to say

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