There was a time when revealing any part of ourselves
was something neither of us
could ever do.
We liked to play with illusions and give them out freely,
a cheap ticket to the circus act
we wanted to emit,
concealing with flare and artful tongues
the decrepit conditions
behind the scenes.
But our painted smiles have been washed off,
until only our blemished, ruddy cheeks remain.
We’ve gone au naturel,
and now our smiles for each other
hold as much power as a thousand
years could bring us.