The Rusty Toque | Issue 13 | Poetry | November 30, 2017
from LEATHERFACE RETROSPECTIVE
Three Masks of the True Face
The world does not hide its true face from us.
A hydra has one head: the one it offers
to the blade, that writhes unbloodied
in the dirt, the head that never dies
to spite all legends. Three masks hide
hiding itself, cover up that there is no
conspiracy. These masks are the true face,
the world what is the case. We deny this,
think another world lies elsewhere, slip
sharp knives into soft necks not our own.
What we see is the world. Behind its mask
peer eyes that do not see, but we see them.
Masks change but glassy eyes remain,
windows framing just another frame.
You wake. Your hands are bound
to other hands, wrists upturned
for the knives that never come.
In front of you, your friends
make up your meal. Light
shines, burns through one mask.
Another mask bleeds darkness.
Everything is for you, you are their guest.
You are sitting on the throne. You would give
anything, even your soul, if you could stand,
if they would let you close your eyes,
but no one wants your soul, just open eyes.
This meal was made for you. You are the guest.
You are sitting on the throne.
JONATHAN BALL writes fiction, poetry, screenplays, and criticism and teaches literature, film, and writing in Winnipeg. Visit him online at JonathanBall.com, where he writes about writing the wrong way, and follow him @jonathanballcom.