David Hanlon

Face Painting

Grief washes
over me:

blue eyes,

pink cheeks,

red lips,


down my face
& slip off.

You could mop
them all up with a dishrag,
discard it in one rinse.

You could cut
them all up with scissors,
make multi-colored mosaics.

You could clean
them all up with a vacuum,
suck-shot into contained darkness.

Either way, a blank canvas is left—
the clinical shade
of the doctor’s waiting room.

I have endured,
waited, patient,
for the colours
of my palette
to return,
but now,
I am ready
to make

the first few markings
with small,
tentative brush strokes.

David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England. He has a BA in Film Studies & is training part-time as a counsellor/therapist. You can find his work online in Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void, Impossible Archetype & The Rising Phoenix Review, among others.

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