Kayla Gawronski
Unending Masks
Fred Linnabary

I, even I,
The exhorter,
The extoller,
The whip of conscience,
The examiner,
The exhumer,
The cradle of truth,
The ex-patriot,
The expurgator,
The beadle of righteousness,
The x-factor,
The Excalibur,
The hewer and crier—
Even I look down into my soul
And see the well of darkness,
And smell the miasmic chaos,
And feel the unseen fangs,
And hear the silent howling
Of monsters which would rather pass unremarked.
I throw open the blinds to the light
And rob the beasts of their power,
And I pick up the shovel and open another layer—
And am greeted by the abyss once again.
Unknown to me I wear a million masks—
But they are only one mask:
The face of well-meaning and candor—
And my every intention is truth,
But ignorance makes of it a mask.
I, even I,
Am not more, but less,
At least less than I think.
I have gained but one thing:
The Uttermost Truth.
The mask will never leave me.
I, even I,
The infiltrator,
The inquisitor,
The black-and-white in grey spaces,
The insipid,
The insolent,
The counter of common sense,
The inexact,
The ingrateful,
The harangue of known and unknown,
The inventor,
The investor,
The liar who tells the truth—
Am a mask and wear a mask,
And mask a mask in removing all masks.
Even this is a mask.
All this bluster? Why ask?