and now I am left with nothing but the truth

Mask Dance, 1928/1929, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

I first wrote and posted this poem in 2012.

and now
i am left with nothing but the truth

that my only constant has been
a willingness
to stand naked and alone

my sole virtue
laid bare on life’s platter,
borne of a lingering sense that
there is more to this holy dance
than the steady chock of the metronome

my own beating heart,
frangible though it may be
has echoed beyond time
in a rapturous calypso,
flooding my ears with birdsong melody
and the night cry of the whippoorwill

truth has stalked me from the shadows,
its roiling insistence
illuminating an ancient myth
courting illusion,
hounding my every step
along byways littered with the dung of inconsistency
and glistening with its facefront glare

what rhyme,
reason’s nemesis,
has left its mark upon me so?

every utterance laced
with the brine of indecision,
nascent worlds nested
in creation’s cupped and weathered hands

my forays leave behind nothing i can
raise aloft in triumph,
little of true value sits shelved,
waiting to be plucked
in a nod to fanfare’s contrivance

truth lines every road
yet the traveler scarce takes note
industry’s groan the ruination of the sacred,
jailer to the arc and sweep of divinity

until grace enters in a hush of reverie
rose and jasmine portend the exaltation
enflame love’s arrival,
barefoot and in no rush at all

granting contentment and a kiss of solace
to a collective brow,
furrowed and taut
with apprehension

ushering in truth,
whose constant has forever been
a willingness
to stand naked and alone

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