Bryan-Zwick 1
Beauty Mask
by Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

     Year by year/the monkey mask reveals/the monkey.

Lay cucumber slices
over the eyes
and use rose petals
spritzed with rose water
to layer face.

Lie back and breathe in
fine lavender scented
candles, undertones
of sage smudge.

Scrub with sugar
oats, coffee grounds
and coconut oils
caress with shea

Make and unmake
this mask, your skin
every inch
a garden.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is a response to a favorite haiku of mine by Bashō.  I have for a long time wanted to write a response to this poem and in this moment felt the real need to connect this idea to beauty as a part of health.  How our feelings and confidence can really determine who we get to be in the world.  The poem is short, sweet and I hope it helps bring joy.

Bryan-Zwick 2 copy

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kelsey Bryan-Zwick is a Spanish/English-speaking poet from Long Beach, California.  Disabled with scoliosis from a young age, her poems often focus on trauma, shedding light on what has been an isolating experience.  She is the author of Watermarked (Sadie Girl Press) and founder of the micro-press BindYourOwnBooks.  Kelsey is a Pushcart Prize and The Best of the Net nominee, and has had poems accepted by Spillway, Writing in a Woman’s Voice, Trailer Park Quarterly, Redshift, Rise Up Review, Right Hand Pointing, and Silver Birch Press.  She was Moon Tide Press’ Poet of the Month for May 2020, and is writing towards her new title, Here Go the Knives, Find her on her blog and on Instagram.