Unmasked

February fire

Sparked

To judgment, to deception

February breath

Kindled

To survival

An unmasking of winter


Purim. I click the article.

Read.

Then record,


Hope

Risk

Origins

Victims

Power

Hostile

Destruction

Historians

Destruction

Minority

Guardians

Right

Marginalized

Enemies

Identity

Majority

Denouncement


Bird. I penned a novel.

Write.

Then remember,


Two stories. Two women. Meant to unmask truths.

Esther and Judith

One more real than the other.

Fact in fiction.

Both required masking and unmasking


My life too

Half Jewish. All hidden

Living behind the mask

My father’s skin,

My father’s eyes,

My father’s name,

My father’s privilege

Provides.

Each week, I share photos of my niece and nephew.

This week in costume.

‘What’s Purim?” my father asks

Each week in February.


Ignorance, or simple lack of effort.

An unconsidered conversation.

More Haman or Mordecai?


A lightness saddened at the coldness of

Winter. Whiteness

Maintained.

Ninja Turtle and American Indian

Choices. Fictions.

One more real than the other

Sweet dark eyes beneath the headbands

Threads of once tight cloth

Stitched. Knotted.


Celebration, or cultural appropriation.

An unwelcome conversation.

More Mordecai or Haman?


The heat of the mask

Once unmasked

Next to February’s flames.


Which cheek to wash?

Redness.


Which cheek to turn?

Soreness.


In the photo, who did they want me to see?

In the mirror, who do I want me to save?

Next year, neither of the masks will fit.

Will mine?

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