In the season of Lent
No more masks. Last night’s battle
royale over budgets, bathtimes, bad sex
will not be forgotten, washed off,
or creamed over. It will appear as is,
a wide red stripe across my left cheek.
Tomorrow when the rent is due
and the money has gone to the butcher,
the baker, the car loan maker,
my face and I will again wear
the band of our defeat, wide white
stripe of strife crossways on the right cheek.
My face and I, of sound mind and body,
will leave nothing but teeth and company
as we head out cross country
in search of the thumb that left its print
on the broad wide expanse between our eyes.
We never agreed to give anything up,
relinquish, renew or renounce.
We refuse to give up.
Tongue, with your wafer
you stay back, guard the abandoned
Without my face I am nothing
but another pretty fact,
a blonde that heads will turn
for, if only to pluck out the eyes
left behind, tendons wrapped around
each stringy, dyed tendril.
My face and I are ashes.
Our mask is plastic smoke
polluting your air. Bless you.