7 May 2015


My skin speaks
to yours as you first brush
against it, initial         strokes
that turn to motions
of a knife, testing.
I notice how firmly
you grip it, not cautiously
                         but ready to sever, to end
the dangerous experiment.

Feel how my veins
seem to work faster
now, before you
take apart, peel away
the ribs hiding a heart.
Do you know that only you
can see it moving,
watch it   quicken,
blood        pumping,
                     rushing through me?

I know the fear
heard only in your exhalations.
I see how it keeps to your shadows, but
out of sight is not
out of touch.
This is too much,
                too painful,
but you are compelled.
I know because
I am human, too.

Look past my eyes
          —no, deeper—
where a lifetime lives in a maze,
and sparks erupt as you
run along narrow paths, kindling
fires with soft footsteps,
lights                   glowing as you
touch them like a moth, curious,
and                   like a moth
you came in darkness.

Bag of Masks

I carry around a bag of masks,
careful not to let those
around me hear the sound
they make as I move,
as I saunter or as I sneak.
The rattle is unsettling
and calls for the mask
of reassuring deceit.

I would tell you I have something
of a talent, unless
I was wearing a modest mask.
It becomes a game
of evasion, manoeuvre,
that makes a particular mask
smile with glee,
a snake's smile.

I can be whoever
I need to be,
you want me to be.
I can be stony stoicism
when inside is a state of emergency,
screaming warzone, glaring abyss.
My denial shames governments.

There is a face beneath
all these facades, although
I'm not sure you'd
like to see it.
It's been a long time since
I saw myself in a mirror, and
an act is only such
for so long.