Mirror, mirror on the wall--
be honest with me one more time
before you go blind;
before I disappear and you start to lie.
I am ugly,
so they say and have said
for as far back as my memory reaches.
The unkind ask straight-out,
"Were you in an accident?"
The kind remark on my beautiful eyes
and let the rest hang in the air like lost birds.
It's a great day for my mother,
hiding in her space suit of conventionality.
The doctor in whom she has such faith--
who treats me like a block of wood
and speaks as if I weren't sitting right there--
thrills her when he holds my nose up with his thumb
and she gushes
that now I look like her darling, my sib.
tell it to me straight, as a sweet sixteen gift
before you lose the truth forever
and I vanish into this involuntary shift.
I know that others find me ugly
and that my mother finds me ugly
because she comes right out and says so.
But I am not ugly to myself--
I am simply me.
after blood and blades and anesthetic,
someone will heal and go back to school and marry and grow old,
but she won't be me.
I'll be riding inside, in my island prison, unseen.
Someone will say, "You look so pretty,"
and it will mean nothing to me,
it having been said about someone else,
this mask-face I can never take off even for a second.
tell me the truth before you deceitfully bend--
before I submit to the will of others
and am never seen again.
Dedicated to the disfigured, the different, the intersexed, and all children whose bodies are altered without their consent.
And in memory of Lucy Grealy, author of "Autobiography Of A Face." In the arms of the angels, Beautiful.
For Fireblossom Friday "This Is (Almost) The End" at Toads.
Image at top: Adele Exarchopolous from the movie "Blue is The Warmest Color"