The mask of shame has two faces
depending on where you stand.
One stares out at the rest of the world
the other stares back in.
One stands in judgment and blame of the self
one screams not to be judged.
One labels the unexamined life
one swears to be authentic and pure.
There is nothing on either side of the mask
to keep it from falling away.
Nothing securing it to the face
yet it is worn as if part of the skin.
The roles played indicate
who I will be today.
The mask of scorn and contempt
will chain me to this room.
The cat o’nine tails will lay themselves down
again and again on my skin.
The scars they leave, tangible evidence
that penance has been paid.
With a flick of the wrist the mask will change
the shape and look of my face.
I will openly weep at the thought
of being misunderstood.
I will cry out for mercy and understanding
beg for someone to see me.
I will swear on all that is good in this world
that I am worthy of belief.
Neither face is truly mine
and at the same time I am both.
Caught between angel and devil
colored in shades of grey.
No wrong, no right, not bad or good
and nowhere to place the blame.
For being trapped between these two faces
unable to see who I am.