Raw Beauty

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That girl was beauty darkened by their lies
She swore she would be strong
Bandaged her invisible wounds
And prepared herself for another day of survival
 
But at night, she crumble like a paper mache cradle  
The wall her only witness
As she curses god for everything she believes he's done
Cries until her eyes ran dry and closed
Drifting into a state in which she is nor awake or asleep
 
She remembers what her mama use to tell her
How she would warn her about hiding her heart
But it always slips away from underneath her covers
And lays unprotected at her sleeves
 
It’s become worn and tattered
Damaged by the on slaughter of pain
But it’s somehow kept beating
The flesh around it becoming thicker as her walls grew higher
 
Her teachers talk about a rhyme 
One about sticks and stones 
And about how words should never hurt her
But she is living proof about how that’s not true
 
When did hallways become battlegrounds?
How did she become a soldier in this war?
Fighting for her life as words cut her skin like bullets
Branding themselves around her body
As others sneered and smirked
Spitting out taunts 
Ones that she refused to let meet her ears
 
Day in
Day out
It was routine
Always the same, until it wasn’t
 
She found him
A boy with soft spoken words
And gentle smile only she could bring out
One that was branded a freak such as herself
 
In her eyes that boy was beauty
But he will never see what she sees
He only sees the bruises
And the untruthful words
 
That boy only sees the gap between his teeth
And the scar on his cheek
To this day even with that girl by his side he wouldn’t be able to see
How he is perfection in his daughter’s eyes
 
They both grew up in a hateful world 
Believing no one could love them
And that those horrible words they were called were the truth
They thought they’d be alone
 
These teens were fed lies about broken bones
And how words were never worse
But how is the pain
And self-hatred they felt not worse?
 
He was jumped for the first time in first grade
As if his father hadn’t done a good enough job
 
She was called ugly when she was 6
As if she didn’t already know that
 
Their ‘friends’ became their attackers
The bullies that threw spit balls at them in class
And shoved them into lockers in the halls
Confining them into their small cage until a teacher finally got them out
 
They learned how to outrun the bruises
But they couldn’t avoid the words others shouted
 
That boy is the girl’s protector
Her shield
But he can’t save her from her own razor wielding hands
The ones that carve the words she now believes
 
He helped her hide her bleeding wrists
Held her when she cried about their words
Or her absent father
Or the loving mother who cancer had ripped away from her
 
That girl had never been religious
She can count the number of times she had prayed with one hand
But what good were prayers when she watched her mom wither way
A shell of the blunt woman she had been
 
She believes in Murphy’s Law
“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”
 
That belief was proven true again and again with each word
Each shove
Every single tear that has fallen from her ducts
 
It’s proven every time the boy she’s grown to love comes to her home covered in bruises
Inflicted once again by his father 
Beaten by his own flesh and blood
Someone who is supposed to love him
 
But they aren’t the only ones
Kids to this day are being called names
Shunned 
And forced into solitude
 
They are shot by words over and over
Until they break down
But no one hears them fall
They are just those people who fade into the background
Forgotten and ignored
 
But I want to tell them that these pieces 
Are broken things about yourselves that you decide to break off
These insolent children won’t be able to oppress you if you don’t let them
The final obstacle you need to overcome is yourself
 
And if you can’t see that you’re beautiful
Look a little longer
Memorize your features
Erase the words that cloud your vision
And drown your demons
 
You’re strong
You’ve had to be to survive the war that was forced upon you
Even when everyone told you to give up
To quit
 
Even when you had to lie about the bruises
Or the tears
You just chant an unbroken mantra
“They’re wrong!”
 
They may have bent you
Chipped your corners
And made you rough around the edges
But the rawest things are always the most beautiful
 
You’re not broken
And you never will be
You just need to learn that when crappy things happen
You have to stop accepting it and demand more
Poetry Slam: 
Guide that inspired this poem: 

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