Posted on

Mask

poem & photography by Nathaniel Whitcomb

mask

I wore you

for so many years

I stopped seeing

you

in the mirror

when I checked

my hair

and how

my jeans fit

and

whether my teeth

belied my lost innocence

mask

you were my face

and I loved you 

for so many years

the way we cannot 

but love

the images reflected back

at us when we go looking

in mirrors

stars

darkened windows 

and other people’s eyes

mask

I’d never felt

powerful before

I put you on

stepped on stage

and somehow

hit every mark

never missed a line

and my words

always on time

lit hearts on fire

mask

neither of us 

could have guessed

the pain

of getting exactly what you want

or how metamorphosis 

happens 

without anyone knowing

what’s beneath 

the mask

until

one night

we crawl out

of ourselves

and look down

to see

who we just were 

lying there in the gravel

beneath a highway overpass