Bruised Beauty


United States
40° 53' 3.8436" N, 74° 18' 21.438" W

No eyes doubt your mirrors, broken by beauty.
The cracks run red, perhaps from the lipstick you used to cover your bruised lip.
You wish to leave the lipstick off along with everything else adding to your disguise,
but he says he wants to see you and the choice is only his.
The night is neon with dancing stars,
but you do not want to see the night
and you do not want it to see you.
But it won’t see you, only the makeup you cake upon your face
and the arm you link through his.
On that same arm you pull your sweater sleeve down now, covering the wrist,
the blacks and blues blending together in the shapes of finger pads.
You are no open book, but a withered horror classic,
the words so faded that they are illegible.
You try to form the words on your lips instead,
but you’re Mona Lisa, silent, beautiful, misunderstood.
Your phone buzzes on the vanity, the glass panels of the mirror above it shaking.
He tells you he’s outside and you know he won’t wait long,
but your legs seem to have melted to the floor,
the phone an attachment of the hand.
Blood red nails tick against the keypad.
Help was once a foreign concept, a demonstration of weakness.
You could get through this on your own, no eyes calling you piteous,
but you know better and you won’t test your fate for one more night.
Today your mirrors will show the broken girl you are,
but no one will doubt your beauty tomorrow
nor will they ever doubt your strength.


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