Maskara

16.

Prim, Proper, Pristine:

Perfect.

Vibrant blonde and vivid blue,

The dazzling incandescence of youth.

Mystique bound in ever smile;

Virtue etched in every particle.

A life ahead filled with possibility,

Deaf to all calls for conformity.

A charm irresistible, A beauty unassailable:

Pure, raw,

Unaffected.

17.

She took her first hit.

Sparked by a flicker of self-doubt.

Nothing major…

Just a dab of bronzer on each cheek.

‘It’ll add a bit of colour’ they said.

‘Give you a nice, warm glow’.

Cheekbones brighten, contours sharpen:

Integrated shades create an

Illusion of depth and slenderness.

Imperfections, blotches, flaws, blemishes,

Clouded under the cover of censorship.

19.

The warm glow intensifies

As the dosage increases.

Twice a day now she opens her bag,

Scoops out the powder,

And applies a fresh coat.

‘It’ll create a more natural look’ they said.

Lips darken, lashes thicken,

Eyes shrouded in a jet-black hue.

Blood-red dye saturates the lips:

A stunning shade of scarlet,

Perfected only when subjected to

Testing on rats.

21.

Each hour, another layer,

Plugging every last gasping pore.

Adept now in subtle reapplication,

An ornamental veneer of Naturalism.

‘Oh wow, you look so different!’ they said.

Unrecognisable, almost.

This golden guise

Glistens and

Glimmers,

Bleeding the sparkle that drains from her eyes.

Impermeable now, impenetrable now, inscrutable now,

Fanning the flames of her frenzied facade.

23.

She succumbs to the needle,

Inevitably.

Nothing major.

Just the unilateral paralysis of facial nerves.

‘It’ll smoothen your skin completely’ they said.

‘Rekindle that youthful twinkle’.

The uniform sheen has finally set:

Expression immobilised,

Emotion anaesthetised.

Toxins now race through the virgin veins,

Stifle the burning internal pain.

A charm indiscernible, A beauty invisible:

Motionless, faceless,

Anonymous.