Poetika at Literatura

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Order for Mask

.by Virginia R. Moreno

An Ifugao Rice Harvest Mask


To this harlequinade
 I wear black tight and fool’s cap
 Billiken, make me three bright masks
 For the three tasks in my life.
 Three faces to wear
 One after the other
 For the three men in my life.


When my Brother comes
 make me one opposite
 If he is a devil, a saint
 With a staff to his fork
 And for his horns, a crown.
 I hope for my contrast
 To make nil
 Our old resemblance to each other
 and my twin will walk me out
 Without a frown
 Pretending I am another.

  
When my Father comes
 Make me one so like
 His child once eating his white bread in trance
 Philomela before she was raped. I hope by likeness
 To make him believe this is the same kind
 The chaste face he made,
 And my blind Lear will walk me out
 Without a word
 Fearing to peer behind.


If my lover comes,
 Yes, when Seducer comes
 Make for me the face
 That will in color race
 The carnival stars
 And change in shape
 Under his grasping hands.
 Make it bloody
 When he needs it white
 Make it wicked in the dark
 Let him find no old mark
 Make it stone to his suave touch
 This magician will walk me out
 Newly loved.
 Not knowing why my tantalizing face
 Is strangely like the mangled parts of a face
 He once wiped out. 


Make me three masks.



Copyright © 2011 by J. Estoque
All Rights Reserved

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