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
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
No more horror upon my face.