Masquerade (For Ann)

An ocean of colors surrounds you

An assortment of faces astounds you

You try and push your way through

You try to see what’s false and what’s true

 

But in all the confusion of keeping them straight

You have succumbed to a far worse fate

It’s easy to not trust any others

To push them away would be your druthers

But when there’s no one left to turn to

And a storm seems ready to brew

What will you do with this lonely wealth

If you can’t even trust yourself?

 

Take off your mask, ornate it may be

Take off your mask; it hides you from me

Take off your mask; let it rust

Take off your mask; learn to trust

 

You’re happy; you smile

Your laugh is worthwhile

You joke, and you jest

We’d never have guessed

You’re putting on a show

Waiting for us to let you go

 

So you collapse and fall apart

You are of a broken, aching heart

Once the lights are out and everyone else asleep

You curl up, close your eyes, and weep

Maybe I’m assuming too much

Maybe I’m just that out of touch

But I was there once and I’m there now

And I’d help you out if I but knew how

 

Take off your mask, ornate it may be

Take off your mask; it hides you from me

Take off your mask; let it rust

Take off your mask; learn to trust

 

Invite me to that ball going on in the labyrinth of your head

Let me twirl you around in the sea of acrimonious red

I’ll don a mask for you alone

And I’ll hide behind my blithe clone

While inside I rampage through my mind

I tell you you’re being far too unkind

But not to me and not to your friends

It’s you you’re unfair to when it all ends

 

Once you’ve had enough dancing

Enough bounding and leaping and prancing

Then maybe, just maybe, you’ll be just out of air

You’ll take off your mask and answer my prayer

You’ll see the world around you so clear

And I’ll be there to hold you so near

 

And even if under the mask, you don’t like what you see

Please always know that you’re perfect to me

 

I may be shallow and pompous and rude

I may have an apathetic and arrogant attitude

But I will not watch from afar

Because I love you for who you are

 

So take off your mask, ornate it may be

Just take off your mask; it hides you from me

Let me take off your mask and let it rust

Let’s take off our masks and learn to trust

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