Maskovid Fantasy

White Retard walks among the sycamores
along a grassy slope beside a path
down which walk parents with their faces masked,
conducting children with their faces masked.

He sees bright angels half-solidify
upon the path, seen also by the kids
who hear them speak, but unseen and unheard
by any of the grownups on the path
as they address the children, telling them,
“Come, we’ll take care of you; take off your masks;
in Heaven, no one has to wear a mask.
We don’t let people do bad things to kids
in Heaven; you can show your faces there
to everyone, and no one will complain;
in fact, in Heaven we enjoy the sight
of every human face, especially
the faces of nice boys and girls like you.
You’ll see your parents soon; they’ll join you there
in Heaven, after they’ve been healed in Hell.
They’re very sick, but soon the tentacles
will fall off of their faces one-by-one
and they won’t feel the need to mask themselves
in order to conceal their ugliness,
because they won’t be ugly anymore.
Deep down, they’re not bad people – they’re just sick,
but they’ll get better fast, down there in Hell,
so you don’t have to feel at all concerned
about your parents; they’ll be fine. Come on,
our spaceship’s over there, inside that tree.”

Bright angels lead a line of happy kids
aboard a gently tossing vessel docked
within a sycamore. They murmur words
that activate its engines; it ascends;
it passes through a portal in the sky
and lands upon a lawn in Paradise.

White Retard glares at parents, meets their eyes,
conveying telepathically a view
of tentacle-faced patients shuffling
along the miles of a corridor
that ends in yellow light. As they proceed,
their facial tentacles grow long and thin
and blacken, rotting, loosening, at last
detaching, leaving wounds that slowly heal.
They touch their wounds with trembling fingertips,
continually trying to recall
the faces of the children they’ve abused.

The yellow light toward which they’re shuffling
is Heaven’s glow perceived through dismal murk.
From their perspective, it will take them years
to reach that light, while only hours pass
for their lost children running here and there
beneath the sparkling sky of Paradise
and overhanging limbs of tender trees,
attended by angelic guardians.