Sisters of the Mask – A poem.

Paint clings better to paper mache.

A strange bird’s feathers
float between her mask’s furrowed eyes.
Her eyes, the only humanity visible,
and they are dark and creased. Overflowing.
The gold paint glimmers how she cannot.
The tired smile is carved into the mask,
not her.

Her skin below the mask hesitates,
drifts out of the fabric of her costume.
Bright and faded, it stretches,
and folds over her like an envelope
without enough postage.

When she changes her face,
she turns away and her dark hair curtains,
and creeps down her back.

The mask has become her;
the paper hides her hollow.

JKolasch

Dawn – A poem.

Fog cuts the city—
zigzagged lines of unskilled hands
that first picked up a saw.

Like the mirror,
broken above the sink.
But you can see lines that bisect
and twist across your face.

Everything is muffled.
The type of silence you only sing about.

JKolasch

On Becoming a Ghost – A poem.

This is the end now.
Three-fourths of an ounce
has left you—
or is it you? Escaping
a carbon prison.

He is here to guide you.
To explain your existence—
or lack of one now.
There isn’t enough evidence
to say for sure. Postmortem
isn’t really the place to say.
Or stay.

But here you are.
If it really is you, and not
just a fog of a last breath
captured on a mirror.
Perhaps you are just a reflection—
and you will watch the world
backwards.

As I write this, I can feel—
is it you? A tangible something
swirl around the room.

I almost see
a face, your face
stare from the window.

It’s gone.

JKolasch

Critical – A poem.

The monitor has become
a mirror.

Like a shield,
it used to separate—
creating a comfortable distance.

The barbs from fingertips
would deflect—

and forget.

Yet, the face inside
is visible—

harder to ignore.

I can see you—
or, is that me?

My eyes wet from the strain.
That’s what I tell myself.
It’s stuck in my throat—
and even reaching for water I know won’t help—
I have to look away.

But I see it.
I see you, a floating haze of words
and pictures.

Seared in my vision.

The monitor has become
a mirror.

And I,
well, I am no better
than those I criticize.

JKolasch

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