Each mask hides another,
Veil on tear-stained veil.
Each tattered page of my heart
Inked and stamped and sealed
In the shadows of my mind.
I wrote myself a fantasy,
Bound my heart in steel.
The bleeding aches I turned to scars
My dreams to sweat and tears.
I formed and chiseled and polished
And pounded out my soul
Until my reflection stared back
Like a heroine of old.
I stood before the tarnished mirror
Of all I ought to be.
A little better than my best,
More caring there.
Let the world crumble at my feet
My foundation lay with in my soul
Where no hand could touch.
The reflection grew dim,
The masks ached and chafed,
And one by one I let them fall
Until only I stood
The heroine who needed nothing else.
The aches still throbbed and pulsed
From some deeper, darker place.
Fissures spread across my frame
Across the mirror.
I grasped and clutched the shards
Of who I thought was.
But the heroine joined the masks,
In choking, blinding ash.
And in the cracking mirror, I saw
A trembling, lonely child
Stained with the dust of dreams.
Not quite as much as I always thought
Less than all I’d tried to build.
All my efforts shattered,
In glass about my feet.
I sank into the ruins of my best
As day drifted into dusk.
No safety, no point, no reason to try
Only wild, chartless wilderness
A shadow where my reflection once stood.
Another crouches in the dust,
His tears reflect my own.
He holds out a hand.
“I can be enough.”