Painting By Number

shove a mirror down my throat so I can focus on what's really important. I promise I won't choke. my esophagus has been conditioned with two digits. you tell me it's the inside that counts but I'm in the eleventh grade and I still count on my fingers. 



you say you like my brain but not my face. blondes are just more your type. my hair color determines what I will become to you so please tell me how my insides will do me any better. 


how will my heart, covered in blood - red and dirty - measure up. how will my brain, grey and focused and all too busy, turn you on. how will my veins, which turn purple when you touch me too hard, be pretty enough for you. 


the inside of me is the ugliest part of my body. my insides are not blonde but a cacophony of color. they are coiled not coiffed. they are rough not smooth like my perfectly shaven legs. they do not get painted with polish every other week. there is no plucking and priming. the insides of my body have never seen the light of day. they do not sit in a tanning bed but hide in the shadow of my skin. a pretty skirt won't hide the food in my stomach. my bones cannot be made to look airbrushed. my lungs let me breathe but only in the right outfit. my joints rub together like my thighs but wait aren't they supposed to? 



my insides will put you through hell. my teeth will crunch you into tiny pieces before my saliva breaks you down. my words will be so much more to you than flightless phenomenons said in passing. they will be masterpieces of masochism - tearing you apart into microcosms of yourself. I will not swallow. I will not give you the opportunity to discover all of me. I will spit you out like rancid trash because I am deserving of someone better. Someone who will see. 



they will know and understand that dye can kill. 


but you, my sweet friend, you do not realize the danger of tanning beds and unsterilized needles. the guilt of a piece of cake. the horror of natural beauty in today's society. 


people .. people like you .. they like to poke and probe. they like to investigate with no intention of pure exploration. 



so I will continue. continue to paint and prime. to tan and coif. I will do this for myself because, you see, my outside is exposed. to oxygen. to unsolicited comments. to cigarette smoke. to you.  



but the inside of my body is raw and untouched by man. it is immune to your catcalls or your contempt. if my hair color is your basis for beauty then you do not deserve to look and see the unedited refinery of ash that is my psyche.

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