The Face of a Stranger

Every picture I take

Is run through a thousand filters,

So that people look at my photo and gush

That I look amazing.

And I stare at it,

Trying to find a hint of myself in there.


That photo resembles a stranger

More than it does me;

I could fix that crooked smile,

Fix that bleak wall I was standing against,

Fix those lights that flicker,

On, off, on, off,


And I get a perfect girl

In a perfect photo,

With just the right smile,

Leaning against a cream wall,

The soft lights bathing her skin

Her-not mine-

In radiance.


But I want my photo,

Where I had been leaning

Against the wall of a friend’s room.

I was trying not to laugh

At the faces she was making

And my smile came out crooked.

Her brother had snuck in

He was trying to scare us,

Turning the lights

On, off, on, off.

Yes, there was hair in my face

And my cheeks were red;

Still I had loved that moment,

And loved that me.

But now I had lost it,

For the face of a stranger.


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