beauty, she knew, was skindeep

but so much deeper than skin
the bone which misshaped her
so much deeper than skin
the flesh that erased her

so she slipped needles skindeep
delving to find the combinations of colors
that might open the lock she spent
so long trying
trying to pick

from the corpse she coaxed a canvas
a Rauschenberg throwaway built in layers
a natural ivory a peach pink and a rouge
black all around her still blank eyes

reddened they rise
to meet the mirror
blood mixed with ink
under the skin

beauty, she knew, was skindeep.