Mask of Bronze

It is a blazing mask of bronze with inflamed highlights and angry shadows.

A brow perpetually clenched-chipped clear above a frowning eye,
A mouth consistently pulled earthward-words earning sighs smoldering within,
A jaw forever fastened against pleasantries–traitorous pleas for yes and you: the padlock.

But look! Just when I had turned my mask of muslin away,
The glistening I had been listening for appeared on that clenched eyelid,
Much against its will.
It lingered, boiling within her, toiling to begin her
Decline from gilded to wilted,
The petal tones of which I would rather revere.

Now how it slithers so slyly down her cheek,
Leaving in its trail a cool blue green that belongs to a morass of adolescence.
A trail of oxidation breaking that bright bronze along a vertical chasm,
A striking imperfection.

As the acid that once frothed forth from her very mask,
This glistening dissolves and burns the metal
To expose a petal,
A gorgeous face of flesh of fruit of earth,
A pink rose.

It is a gentle mask of flowery flesh with compassionate highlights and contemplative shadows,
Just as she once was.
When all she had known was the touch of a mother,
Before the first touch of acid from another.

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