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This poem is taken from PN Review 126, Volume 25 Number 4, March - April 1999.

The Truth of Masks Daniel Kunitz

You will inevitably be misunderstood
        Trying to seem bad, affecting a rude
        Pose, while underneath it all
You're afraid. Even out partying you gull
        Friends with that smooth fuck-all facade,
That vamping sneer. Tight nylon shirt and hip-
        Hugging pants, a glass of cabernet held
        For a toast someone else makes, the tip
Of your tongue caressing your rouged upper lip:

Each precise particular arranged
        To flaunt your poise. Then, estranged
        For a moment from the conversation,
Your thoughts scribble quick studies of yourself
        As others might see you: coquette, fawn
Untamed by fawning admirers, guest prone
        To arrive last, cock-tease, tease.
...


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