Imagine this face

Imagine this face being molded out of air:

First – wide forehead, smoothed down to soft brows; next – slender nose, betwixt high and broad cheekbones; then – eye sockets, like fat sideways almonds, inside of which irises boast their new paint. Look and see…the sharp green paint, how it glitters. Now lashes at edges of lids are affixed. Under oblong nostrils, the philtrum pooches; further down, lips are heart-cut and clay-heavy. Here come handfuls of fine white-blond hair, glued to the scalp until front is framed thick and lovely. Skin, the skin, is palest of pale. But dabs of pink are brushed on cheeks, and the face animates. She is brought to life.

Imagine this face being molded out of time:

First – wrinkle-puckered forehead ends in crow’s brows; next – sloped and withered nose, betwixt sunken cheekbones; then – eye sockets pushed into tender skull, inside of which irises wash themselves out. Look and see…they float in sclera rubied by capillaries. Lashes have across years fallen out. Under drooping nostrils, fleshy philtrum sits; further down, lips are stretched and downturned. Here come wisps of dirty white hair, stuck sporadically to the skeletal scalp. Skin, the skin, is palest of pale. But imagine:

A tattoo of reds and greens and blacks. Winding itself over the whole of face and neck. There are roses, there are stems, there are leaves and thorns. Greenblack lines dip into wrinkle-furrows, then scramble out again to fall back into others. Her head is covered, a frightful lattice of ink. At forty, the lines were fresh and thin. She was devastated, but ravishing still. Strange, bitter beauty oozed from the pores of her devastation. What oozed beauty thickest? Why, those delicate, exploding petals, that pattern of tiny buds and thorns. For it was as though truly, the thorns punctured her cheeks, drilling tiny holes to the well of sorrow within. At eighty now, the lines have bled. Skin stretches horribly with time; ink stretches with skin. The lattice terrifies. Passerby look up see her face shriek in fright. Ta-da! There she walks, The Aged Medusa of Monkey Heights.

~ by kingzoko on June 28, 2010.

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