I took off the mask and looked in the mirror

I took off the mask and looked in the mirror.
I was the same child I was a year ago.
I hadn’t changed at all . . .

That’s the advantage of knowing how to remove your mask.
You’re still the child,
The past that lives on,
The child.

I took off my mask, and I put it back on.
It’s better this way.
This way I’m the mask.

And I return to normality as to a streetcar terminus.

11 August 1934

— Álvaro de Campos (Fernando Pessoa)

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