By Roy Dean Doughty
From A Monument of Wonders
12/23/00 www.amonumentofwonders.com

The face is a labyrinth of stone on stone,
Durable, but not infinitely so,
And in the end, its mask falls into ruins.
Then one of the fragments — each fragment is a mask —
Cracks into speech, breaks into realization:
“The Mask is a history of illnesses,
Mistaken paths to the center, which somehow hardened,
Gouging these twisted tunnels with agony.”

Mice run through the ruins twittering hungrily;
Snakes coil in the blues of the smoother stone alcoves;
Ants cart away the crumbled grains of sand;
Eventually, the center stands exposed.

The cure is strange, and not what we supposed.
A faceless vesicle of swarming lights
Swirls at the center of our twisted plight,
And each light burns to play a separate role.
Here is the clown, whose infinite delights
Unite us with the vortex of the soul.
Speak, and the mask is changed. Speak, and the pain unscrolls.

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