One Thousand (and One)

Take them off!

Take them off!

Show us who you really are!

Let us see

Thy true face

Thy true fears

And thy true hates

 

There's a nod from a performer

A smirk from a magician

A smile from a teacher

And a chuckle from a snake

 

The first layer goes

(One lie down, a thousand to go)

and with it is the performer.

 

The second layer is next

(And that's two, folks)

and with it the magician

 

The third layer is not final

(Three is not for luck)

And so the teacher fades too

 

The fourth layer makes hands shake

(Four is for death, but not my own)

And so falls the snake

 

The fifth and six, follow swiftly.

No smiles or cheers from the crowd

Some have left in boredom

Some say rooted in horrid fasination

As skin melts away

 

As a human I stand,

Charged with felony,

I lived and breathed,

Smiled and cared,

But these masks I wear...

They've done it all for me

 

By the time twenty is hit

Most the chairs are empty

No one wants to see this show

Because they know

This is the end.

 

When hundred is hit,

and the masks start bleeding

(start pleading, "Please, let me stay!")

Tears are wiped away with blood

Hands are stained

And masks removed

 

The Hall is empty now

As the last mask falls to the ground

The host of players are all gone

And one remains

 

It is I

And my masks.

For I am the Masks

And the Masks are me.

 

This naked figure does not shiver

Does not laugh, smile, or quake

It fixes empty eyes on empty chairs

And says,

"It is finished."

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