Daily Archives: October 19, 2019

Not Again

They again have asked me
to return to the persona
I once lived behind
and recite the words
I used to swear by

but I can’t go back. Not because
I’m appalled at what I used to be,
but because I can’t put on
that costume again: can’t
wear that mask that doesn’t fit

my face that’s changed enough
that I believe the bones within
would push through and break
the old facade; the combination
of who I was and who I am

would render the antique words 
so suspect and superficial 
that folks would turn away
laughing or shaking their heads.
They would be right to do so:

I can barely think
of my face back then
or read the words
and mouth them in my head
without wanting to do the same.