Facepaint

I stare at my reflection

In the mirror

Tracing lines on my face;

Gently, gingerly

Along my cheeks

With my fingers –

Preparation for tonight,

The night the demons

Come out to play,

The night the Devil dances

In the moonlight pale.

Right now, I'm innocent,

Too innocent

Too saintly.

I can't go out like this.

Not like this.

Not tonight.

-

Tonight, I hide.

-

White base is first,

Slick between my hands

Like pale grease.

I slide it on with

Open hands,

Turning my face into

The moon,

Ghostly

Pale

A blank, white canvas

On which to paint a

Brand new face:

The face of Terror.

I stare at my cadaverous

Reflection.

I look dead

So dead,

Like a vampire risen

From his coffin,

Like a monster,

Like a clown.

-

I must look more so.

-

I calmly dip my finger in

The next color,

A dark and inky cake

As black as night.

I gently shade my eyes

With it,

Watching as my brown eyes,

So kind

So meek

So unassuming,

Slowly turn sunken

Evil

Hollow.

They glare darkly now,

Coldly

Mischievously

From my sockets,

Flickering with dark fire,

The flames of madness.

-

Now to finish the portrait.

-

I smirk and trace

An invisible smile,

Lines extending my mouth

Comically

And vanishing.

I wipe my hands on

The washcloth,

Then dip two fingers in

The red paint and

Continue.

With steady hands, I slash

Crimson lines

From ear to mouth:

A sinister smirk,

Evil and humorless,

Drawn

In bloody ink.

I finish the expression

By messily smearing make-up

Around my lips

Across my mouth,

Over the lines,

Thickening the smile into

A wicked grin.

I stare at my reflection and

Smile at myself,

My real smile,

And laugh.

With the smudged make-up

And the painted smile,

It looks so

Unnatural

Uncanny

Lurid.

-

Perfect.