This Face is a Story

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I’ve taken to staring at my face in the mirror each night.
After I’ve gently washed it.
After I’ve patted it dry and
brushed my wet bangs off to one side
I stare.

At first, I did so halfway
as if off handedly catching my reflection in a storefront.
Unintentional. Removed.
But then something would snag my attention.
A stray hair.
A rising blemish.
And my eyes would focus.
Linger.
Now, I stare.

I stare into all the people I’ve been.
The truths I’ve faced.
The lies I’ve hidden.
The other night my finger lightly traced the wrinkle formed when
I cried for three days straight.
My face is a rusted canyon, I think.
I marvel at how it’s all right there:
Carved.
Pressed.
Etched.

This face is a story
a song
a place
You don’t have to cut me down to
Observe my rings.
The years of abundance and of
want
All are there.

Slowly, I trace my brow
my cheek
my jaw.
I sigh at what I’ve seen
received
endured.
How life has been turned
over and under and into
my face
How I am not yet done

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