Tracing the contour and flicking up at the edges.
Stabbing your finger in the paint pot and rubbing over the lines you made.
Taking the pale beige sponge, caked with yesterday’s finger paint;
Smearing over cheeks until the beige is blended.
This bronzed swipe will take the ash out of your eyes.
You’ll look brighter.
Look, your circles are sort of gone.
Your indentations are marked by paint, not by purity.
If you like, we can go deeper and get a doctor to fix everything.
Maybe then you can smile naturally.
Erica Penfold was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa. She attended both of the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Cape Town, majoring in English literature, French literature and Politics. Her writing focuses on experiences in cities, encounters with emotions evoked in metropoles and her own practice of living as part of the humdrum. She lives and writes on her porch and her couch, accompanied by two kittens