Almost Permanent

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Long ago I captured the porcelain visage
reflected in a store mirror, sealed the sharp
contrast of eyelashes against cheek in a stop bath,
fixed her fast in smooth paper. Almost permanent.

Now she gazes at me defiant and innocent, pouting
as if to ask why? why do you keep me here?
And I have no answer, can only offer up the aging
backs of hands, the tarnished veins in my wrist.

I suppose I wanted to keep a piece of my youth.

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