imperfection is a pimple.

an irregularity, red and raised

in the middle of your face when you are 11

to you it is unfamiliar

so you buy concealer

and cover it up.


imperfection is acne.

a thousand irregularities

all over your face when you are 13

to you your face looks diseased

so you buy foundation

and cover it up.


perfection is what you see all around you

large eyes and thick lashes

sharp cheekbones and blushing cheeks

arched brows and perfect skin

and now your soul feels diseased

so you buy it all

and you cover yourself up.


perfection is who you are now

shining eyes and dark lashes

high cheekbones and blooming cheeks

painted brows and glowing skin

right until you get home

for under your mask

who are you?


perfection is imperfect.

because when you take off your mask

you are not that girl

your eyes vibrate at a lower frequency

your cheekbones dissolve into your face

and your skin is red and raised

and screaming at you that you are not enough


imperfection is the girl in the mirror

and looking in the mirror at the imperfect girl

you remark to yourself,

just for a moment,

"thank god that isn't what i look like."

but then it hits you: it is

and you hate her.

when the makeup dissolves,

you dissolve too.


imperfection is all you see now.

the paint isn't enough

your eyes never wide enough

cheeks never pink enough

skin never smooth enough

and you are not good enough.

you are not real.


perfection is someone you love.

and then he says

he wants to see you under the mask

and it takes months

and you try your best

until one day you wake up

and never put it on.


perfection is the pretty girl

sitting next to you in second period

and you are terrified of what she will say

if she will be repulsed or betrayed,

mocking or disgusted.

but she never notices your imperfection

instead she says

"i didn't know you had freckles"

and she smiles.


perfection is the flawless terror you feel

for you are terrified of what he will think

if he will be repulsed or betrayed,

mocking or disgusted.

but he never stops loving you.

instead he says you are beautiful

and he kisses every one of your freckles.

perfect imperfections.


and no, it isn't always perfect

some days you still feel flawed

some days you want to put on your mask again

but at least when you look in the mirror, at last

you recognize yourself

and you love her.


perfection is a perfectly imperfect girl.

a girl whose eyes smile a little more than before

a girl whose cheeks are healthy and round

a girl whose skin is not diseased and monstrous

but simply flawed

freckles sprinkled across her cheeks and nose

like constellations pointing the way home.


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