Half shadowed in the cloudy afternoon’s half-light, your face
across from mine—whatever’s wrong, that’s right: your face.
Framed in bronze-blond, dark-cropped, curled silver incarnations
I’ve contemplated, like an acolyte, your face.
The face of the war correspondent taken hostage
resembles, but it isn’t quite, your face.
Blotches and spots, the omnipresent wrinkles,
multiply overnight, each night, to blight your face.
A paisley headscarf focuses the eye and frames,
doesn’t define, diminish, translate, or rewrite your face.
Sallow it may be, flushed with shame or effort—
its history’s becoming, being “white”—your face.
The bulbous red cheeks, little red mouth, invoking
armageddon with a doctored plebiscite: your face?
I almost remember how what almost seemed to
constellate darkness was, through that one night, your face.
To measure out one more day’s hours, said the old woman,
would be like cutting off your nose to spite your face.