In the past few days I’ve paid attention
to the lines drawn in my forehead
the creases around my mouth
my dry lips my old eyes my
sandpaper skin
the story wrinkles that corner my
muddy eyes
the way the folds above them
fold into the folds
above them fold into
the folds

I have had a mirror above my bathroom
sink since as long as I can remember
bathrooms or sinks
or brushing my teeth and
yet my morning routine is a
fast scramble to add moisture
add defining darkness to
brighten eyes
to smooth skin and
to present in
public like I know
I can

So I seldom stare into my own eyes
trace the lines down my cheeks
into my neck and shoulders
number my freckles or scars
name the constellations they create
this slow down during
pandemic causes me to imagine
my own face
in new ways
without cover or claim
or power or presentation
skin and crooked teeth
and story lines
and laugh lines
and tear trails from
muddy eyes to clefted chin

There’s a universe
a galaxy
between brow and
broken nose
gray streaked crown
and crooked bottom teeth
I run my fingers along my own
edges and catch my breath at
what lies beneath

There are only a few gifts that
are obvious during these days
but the rest of them are right there
in front of a dirty mirror
above the sink where you’ve always
covered your gifts in makeup
dyed over a slowly dying galaxy and
imagined your stories away