Epitaph to a Mask

The skies are miserable and grey today so I’m feeling a bit melancholy.

When I put together poems I like to imagine the writer as a third person character. I build up the image of this character first before writing the first line. I imagine them in a place, at a point in time, and what they’re doing; with all these fragments I put together a face that I can wear for a brief few hours and then discard when its work is done. It’s almost like the beginnings of creating characters for a book, but then killing them before they have a chance to draw a second breath. It feels like a cruel process sometimes, but then, the ones I feel attached to always have a way of creeping back into my thoughts. Maybe this is about those faces, or maybe it’s a face in itself, I’m never really sure myself.

This strange land.
This island of isolation.
Mapless surroundings,
Pathless hidden wilderness.

Invisible walls rise all around,
We built them to keep us safe,
But all they do is trap us now.
A coffin not a castle,
A prison not a citadel,
I think I’ll bury myself in it today.

This faceless sea.
This ocean of emptiness.
An epitaph to a mask.
What scarce reason abandons now,
Will forever and tomorrow be in tow?

Beneath each face another awaits.
Each one I remove forgotten,
A plaster-cast essence of memory.
No sense of loss, or tears to shed.
They never knew me anyway.

This starless night.
This cruel dark sky.
The fog within, mirrored without.
Encompassing a world lost in thought.
The bed we made, an open casket.
I think I’ll bury myself in it today.

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