Pretty

Pretty

Pretty
Is the judgement they make about me,
Before a single word has floated through my lips.
Pretty
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.
Pretty
Is a double-edged sword.
It is a game of roulette
Where the word is loaded like a gun
Either with admiration or hunger.
Pretty
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.
Pretty
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,
Pretty
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.
Pretty
Is the excuse that pardons
Assault
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.
Pretty
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
Something.
Pretty
Is a gunshot through my chest
When you really do assume
That it is the most spectacular thing about me.
Pretty
Is as ugly as a lie.
Pretty
Is a widow
Trying on her wedding gown.
Pretty
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
Pretty.

 

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Vanity is a lie

Vanity is a lie

I look in the mirror far too much.
I fish for complements.
I paint my face, a mask,
I put blood on my lips
I wash my hair of everything bad that lives inside my head
I comb it and curl it
Until you can see every shade of beautiful honey blonde that shines there.

I look in the mirror far too much.
I admire my glow,
My radiance,
My perfect lips.
I see the beauty that everyone tells me I possess
And I ignore the faces of people who have ruined my dignity that I see beside me
The hungry spirits that possess me.
I watch those people staring at me
Thinking
‘god look at that beauty
what a pretty little thing
Look at that vanity’

But really
When I stare into my own eyes in the reflection
I blink back the tears
to stop the black paint running from my eyelashes
And I ask myself
How can this body
Hide the thick repulsive poison that sits inside?
How can it conceal the pain
That burns up the organs inside of me?
Vanity builds the blooming garden of roses across my cheeks
and the sunflowers that reach up my legs
To hide the bundles of stinging nettles that fill out my bones.

I look in the mirror far too much.
So tell me
How can it be that I am so beautiful?
When so much ugliness has been bred inside me?
What a treasure
That people see vanity instead of vulnerability
Vanity instead of years of violation.
What an absolute
Beautiful
Treasure.

Human

Human

I remember the night I realised God is human
It was a night in August
When I died in a man’s bed
I died ugly, exhausted, boiling, hurt
My heart still beats with the wings of songbirds
Trapped in cages in people’s bedrooms
My skin was smoking with the heat
I ached and ached and wept and ached
But when I had the lid ripped off my Pandora’s box
And I saw Hope lying at the bottom
Like a dead blackbird
I prayed
I prayed for someone to save me
I prayed for someone from the living or the dead or the heavens
To reach down and wrap me in their cool arms
Told in all the cherry wine spilling out of my chest
So I could breathe
And it was then
When I was alone in a bed
That belonged to a stranger that I thought I knew
That I realised that God is the most human deity I could believe in
Because she couldn’t save my life that night
She isn’t a miracle worker
Just like our fathers aren’t superheroes
And our mothers aren’t queens
God is just a human that I had built into something called Hope
And when I realised why I was left to die
I thought that God hadn’t heard my prayers that night
Because
Perhaps she was just
Sleeping

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Things I do for you

Things I do for you

I make the bed
I clean up our dirty tea cups
I laugh and smile at you when you’re the light of my life
I love you every day with my heart
I take you’re jacket when you’re too warm
I wrap you in blankets when you’re too cold
I plaster your fingers when they’re sore
I hold your hand when you’re breaking
I clean your blood off the walls
I hide your drugs to keep you safe
I throw away your blades
I wash the blood off my hands every time
I talk you down every time
I sit with you until the sun comes up when it’s a bad night
I save your life when you can’t save your own
I would breathe life back into you if you died
I do all of these things because I love you
I saved your life
I just hope someone is there to save mine

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com

Lou

Lou

You’re asleep next to me as I write this
I wanted to let you know
How you are a woolly jumper when I need to keep warm
And you are a soft linen dress for me to dance in when it’s summer
You are everything and
everything I need
Rolled into one

By Emma Catherine

thelilaclysander.com