Yeah everybody wear da mask but how long will it last. From, "The Mask"

Far off, in the distance
between a merry memory
and this sad loss, personal
as in the freezing rain
on my old man's face
the fierce wind on my neck,
I see you with your mask.
It is fear itself, this presence
of colors from the early morning
light of Waipahu reaching out
to the Kapolei hills, barren
and waiting for warmth,
this mask of you coming
into a form, shape, substance
and offering itself to the absent sun
in these islands that dreamt of you
going away into the temples
hidden by walls of secrets
even as you dreamt as well
of landlocked journeys
of happy hills and verdant valleys
and merciless mountains
from the fruitless adventures
of your father abandoned by love
who had come a long way
from his only war
he never waged, his uniform,
dark khaki to allude
that crisp sound of firing his first riffle
against the enemy with no name
and the indebtedness of his soul
to fields fallowed by betrayal,
a cold one, calculating
and tangential against his fidelities
he alone knows like this mirage
he could not figure out
where it comes from
as if a whirlwind had come to whip
the plains and there leave behind
the seed to rot, the bird of prey
awaiting the skeletons of plants
that would not bear fruit.

Somewhere, in those proud peaks
touching the gray clouds. is the sulking
self looking for a mirage that would not come,
no, not today, in these dire times
of allusion and illusion where the word
you speak is the bronze bullet you bite.

Your wounds are everywhere in your
father's body, in your man's body,
in your rebel's body, in the nobody's
quality of your speech even as you declaim
the virtues of poems you write
for our forgotten liberties.

You ran away from all these
only to end up in the same beginning
where the revelation of nothingness,
in the leaf of the blade as in the edge
of an alien life not lived, is real.

Hon, HI

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