June 1, 2013

A Glimpse into God's Mirror

The beauty mark
Stretched across the cashier's face
Like hideous sculpture
Modeled in pitch
Splotch of melanoma
Size of a grapefruit
Porous, unsightly
Marring her blameless countenance
Beyond restoration

I tried not to stare
Averting my gaze
To the myriad shelves
Displaying chocolate-covered reveries
Tawdry magazines, lip balm
But some rude bewilderment
Has stolen my higher judgment
My eyes would not yield
Their surveillance
Of the blemish
Tension began to fester
An infected laceration
Seeping with pus
Awkwardness swirled
In the droplets of silence
Pervading the stationary store
The cashier looked up and
Caught me

I threw my items
Down on the counter
Wanting to flee from her presence
As quickly as possible
But an unseen hand
Stopped me in my tracks
I could not escape
Something miraculous
Was beginning
The walls around me
Were melting away
Like wax of ceremonial candles
Burning for an occult ritual
Surreal gesticulations dallied
Aborted apparitions
Floated through smoky air
Incorporeal graveyard dancers
In ghostly procession
The scene, a hazy photograph
Of tormented colors and shapes
Diaphanous, defunct
The lost limbs
Of a blind leper
In unknown places

The birthmark materialized before me
A writhing smudge of black
Pulsating like a fist of dough
Being kneaded
For sacrificial bread
Features began to emerge
Revealing visage
Putrid scowl
Glaring at me
Scalpel eyes leering
From sable slits
As if looking through my skin
Beyond my nervous viscera
To dissect my spine
With anger
Its lips parted
Revealing brown teeth
With dark purposes
My vision was locked
On this lecherous cancer-face
Revolting, pugnacious
The world as I knew it
Vanished completely
I was trapped
Inside its terrible vacuum

"Who are you to judge? Are you perfect?"

Unable to utter sound
My mouth fell open
The birthmark began to morph
Folding in on itself
Blurring and being reinvented
Lips extending
Chiseled features emerging
Like the face of a newborn baby
Being wiped clean of placental fluid
A voice like pebbles
Being shaken
In an aluminum can

"Have you no compassion?"

Pale green light
Flooded the dreamscape
Illuminating everything
The face was becoming clearer
Flashing traces of sanity
Less menacing
Glowing brightly
Surrounded by stardust
Shimmering and cascading
In heavenly whirlpools

"What has this girl ever done to you?"

With the suddenness
Of a breaking cloud
I realized
That the beauty mark
Had transformed
Into the most radiant visage
I had ever witnessed
A face etched by God
In the image of perfection
Breathtaking, absolution
The countenance of a vested angel
Knowing everything
Offering unconditional compassion, grace
I wanted nothing more
Than to gaze
Into those immaculate features
For eternity
To be absorbed by them
And embraced
By their sage wisdom

"Don't you have anything to say?"

Choking on words
Losing all sense of myself
I opened my mouth
But no reply appeared
No defense for my actions
Only a worthless mumble
Barely audible

"Why does your voice lack
the conviction of your stare?"

My answer now
Would make all the difference
I was being offered
This one chance
To atone for my mistakes
Make amends
With a black-faced messenger from God
I closed my eyes tightly
Mustering my strength
Every shred of goodness
That I had ever felt
I shouted
The only phrase
That came to mind


I opened my eyes
To find myself
Back in the stale reality
Of the stationary store
Endless aisles of merchandise
Begging to be purchased
By passers-by
A wall of cigarettes
Standing before me
Colorful cartons
Belittling the vices of lung cancer
Paradise was gone
The seraphic facade of the birthmark
Had evaporated
My heart was sinking
In the shallow confines
Of my chest
For the absence of divinity
Loneliness untamed
Then I noticed the cashier
Staring at me in disbelief

"What did you just say?"
She asked

Miracles abound
In this world
If one is only in tune
Enough to see them
My gaze came up to meet hers
The girl's face
Beamed with silent dignity
That I couldn't distinguish before
The expression of inner beauty
Gleaming on the outside
A look of confidence
The birthmark
Somehow seemed less prominent
Unobtrusive to my eye
Almost transparent
I understood immediately
That the blemish
Had not changed at all
I had

"You are beautiful"