One can no longer live with people. It is too hideous and nauseating…like the two sides of a ghastly disease. —D. H. Lawrence
I count three masks as I sit outside
the hospital. White fabrics muzzle faces
as if these faces belong
to rabid animals, teeth
chomping for the throats of passersby.
Am I to expect these people to fall on their fours,
to follow the next unparked car
out of the lot
with their leashes
dragging behind them?
Where, I wonder, do these leashes
come from? In a country
that prints/pens/pours freedom
from empty pitchers, do these veiled creatures
of other monsters? Masters? How many more
masks walk the hospital halls
while the rest of us breathe in the trees?
Maybe none of them. Maybe all of them.
Maybe we wear these masks to call them crowns.