Dead Skin

I looked in the mirror one day

Finding my face, myself

Youthful, the perfect angle

I was at peace, stable.

 

Yet then a dreary thought struck me

When will this visage

Finally flake away?

What lies beneath its dying skin!

 

Loathsome images fluttered by

Horrid, withered expressions

Accusing, reproachful

Tomorrow answered in vagueness.

 

I see a white fleck upon my brow

Seized by mystery I go to reinforce it

Matted in paste it will not fall

Indeed, this face will not go away!

 

Yet more ivory lesions

Appear upon my face.

Stitched they will not wither.

Affixed, the door remains locked.

 

I spend most days in the mirror,

Watching for cracks and tears.

So that I may prevent them,

So that this mask will not break.

 

To me, it is all the same.

Yet out there,

They sigh and gasp in horror.

What is wrong with my perfect face?

 

I return home and look

I adhere every loose cell

Every dying flake doubled over in haste

And yet they still feel horror.

 

“What is wrong?” I ask.

“Your face! It’s unhealthy!” They retort.

Aghast I feel my face for missing bits

Feeling its rough, calloused grain.

 

I return home and look in the mirror,

Trying more to stitch and tuck,

The dying image,

The callous of the past.

 

Then finally one day it happened

The inevitable, the most horrid fate!

In a pocket of oil and sweat

The mask is giving way.

 

In panic, I try to save it.

Yet as I hold it,

It folds limp

And breaks into quarters.

 

Finally, it falls into my sink

A matted, cracked mass

I refuse to look up

At what horror awaited my reflection.

 

I retreated to a corner weeping

Mourning for that perfect image

Then in my pool of tears

I see my reflection at last.

 

I look and I see to my great surprise

Soft, tight flesh between remorseful eyes

Not a blemish, not a crack

A beaming image remained.

 

Indeed my flesh glowed brighter

My expression indefatigable

Matured, hopeful

No more horror upon my face.

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