Letter to Acne

Dear Acne,

Because of you I can barely stand to look in the mirror

I see my facial landscape

Patchy red plains meet blackhead hills.

Volcanoes scattered on the outskirts of blemish villages.

Irritated, painful

Sometimes I forget about my dirty pores, and a mindful scratch of my forehead rips open an eruption of blood.

I look at the crusty skin that once covered my puss ridden pimple and I retch

I itch my nose with a finger and the grease sticks to it, shining as if sending a signal for help

Because of you I’ve truly earned the nickname “Pizza Face” and have had my fair share of frowns and gags

Why must you make my life so difficult?

Why must you get in the way of my self esteem increasing?

You restrict my beauty to only when you’re not paying me a visit

The problem with that is you’re always here, you’re a permanent tenant and the rent you pay is embarrassment

But I’m writing to you now to tell you that your reign of terror is over

I know how stubborn you are, and like an abusive boyfriend you come back to me even when I’ve established I don’t want you

My facial wash, my creams, my exfoliants and moisturizers

They are my restraining order against you

Even though some seem to work better than others, I’ll find my cure

Even if it takes years of applying and lifetimes of sitting on my hands to avoid coming into contact with you

Benzoyl peroxide, salicylic acid, azelaic acid, I’ll try them all until I’m mutated

Because it’s worth it to finally feel like a sight for sore eyes rather than an eye-sore

I’m resisting you for myself, and I understand that you don’t define me

Maybe other people see me as the grease-ball, Patchy the Pirate, a slice of bubble wrap

But I’m much more, and I don’t care if it takes me all the way to the doctor to have you surgically removed, I’ll prove to them that I’m much more

So enjoy your stay while you can still afford it, Acne

Swell up your pimples while you still have the strength

Make my ridges so shiny they blind traffic while you still have the resources

Once I dig deeper and find my antidote, you’re gone


Yours truly, Tesla Gontjes


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