Is the judgement they make about me,
Before a single word has floated through my lips.
Was the most wonderful complement
To the girl I was when I was seventeen
When I thought that looking like a doll
Was the most interesting thing about me.
Is a double-edged sword.
It is a game of roulette
Where the word is loaded like a gun
Either with admiration or hunger.
Feels like the debt I owe the world to exist as a woman.
A price plastered to my cheeks with my blusher
So that I can be sold into acceptance
So I can be noticed, not invisible.
Is the affliction I have fought with for years,
The same affliction that wore me down to the bone,
The damn affliction that left me running through endless tunnels
Towards the light at the end that I swore I could see
Even when I was blind,
Even when it did not exist.
You see,
Is often confused with perfection,
As if beauty can somehow equate
To a concept so toxic
That it is bound to kill when left untamed.
Is the excuse that pardons
When grubby fingers pull at my dress at the bar
And palms graze my breasts
When I never gave permission for them to be there.
Is a disease that I never wanted
A mutated quality I resented
When all my friends grew up wanting to be beautiful
And I just wanted to be
Is a gunshot through my chest
When you really do assume
That it is the most spectacular thing about me.
Is as ugly as a lie.
Is a widow
Trying on her wedding gown.
Is a disease I never asked for
So, forgive me when I cry in sorrow
When instead of asking my name
You remind me
That all I am to you is


By Emma Catherine

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