Self Portrait #1, 2019, Colored Pencil on Paper

The canvas of memory, it reflects your emotional and physical state. Perhaps a hint of a smile or a stray growl, the inside wants to crawl out. But you try to hide that. Under layers of masks that you’ve learned to create. Painting on layer after layer every morning and washing it off at night. You don’t wash it smoothly. You rush it, burning the mask off with coarse water, rubbing it aggressively with your hands. You watch it melt into your sink and look at yourself bare, standing in front of the fogged-up mirror, squinting at your unrecognizable form. The bumps that formed on your jaw line collected the oil of a day’s work. Covered by skin that falls to the floor in flakes and flakes that you keep buried under the rugs.  You scrape them heavily with your nails before bed and watch them regrow overnight. Only to be painted over again.

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