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By Cheryl A. Rice

Cowboy, Ninja, Terrorist -
you can play any role you like
in your fashion mask of choice.
The interwebs are flooded with ads,
your favorite band, TV show, cartoon persona
quickly printed on a nylon sling
contoured to enclose your jaw, your mouth,
the all-important nose,
source of all knowledge
of this vine-ripened disease.
I hesitate to commemorate the trend,
don’t think of it as fashion,
but a horror show with no finale,
necessary evil, like soap or daylight.
The calendar and my inked-in plans
mocks me from above a desk
I may never see again.
I hover over a laptop,
perform a mockery of my former tasks,
wear a mask myself of despair, confusion,


Cheryl A. Rice’s poems have appeared in Home Planet News, Rye Whiskey Review, Up The River, and Misfit Magazine, among others. Recent chapbooks include Until the Words Came (2019: Post Traumatic Press), coauthored with Guy Reed, and Love’s Compass (2019: Kung Fu Treachery Press). Her blog is at:

Rice lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.   

Cheryl A. Rice
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