Metal is not a mask. The bangs are not a mask.
You put on makeup only to sweat it away.
To be on stage is to be alive,
the screams show the world is paying attention.
The hot lights. The steam and sway
and strings under your fingers – every song
a balancing act between loud and louder,
every outfit illustrates a new idea of yourself.
The second saddest story you ever heard
is about someone’s mother
selling her guitar when she got married,
and the saddest story is a folk song.
Any folk song. You didn’t know you were a rebel
until you ran away. You didn’t know
the heart could turn black until you woke up
in a hospital bed. Alone is the only lyric worth singing,
midnight the only hour that burns,
your guitar the only lover that listens.
There is no mask. You are no one’s clown.
You are faith in disguise, pride dressed up
in someone else’s sin. You are vibration,
you are clean sound picked up, amplified –
the secret is knowing exactly how much distortion
it takes to make a stranger fall in love.