Stone Cold Beautiful

From the moment I was born, I was different. 

I was not like the mother who screamed to bore me.

Nor like the sisters who told me I was horrid.

I didn’t deserve to be like them,

For it was I who was the monster. 

Not them, no, they were perfect.

Not I, never I, I was the imposter. 

They hated me from the moment I saw the sun.

My mother cast me to the side like I was nothing.

My sisters glared and taunted me. 

“No one should be as beautiful as you.”

 

I was paraded around like a golden calf. 

Something to be worshiped,

Something to be claimed and to chain to a pedestal. 

They didn’t care about who I was.

“You are so beautiful, Medusa.”

The compliments were never-ending.

“The most beautiful I have ever seen.”

Porcelain skin, golden waves of hair that touched my ankles.

“I wish I was as beautiful as Medusa.”

 

The moment I walked into a club or a bar,

All attention was on me. 

For I was the one who was considered beautiful.

There he was, always watching, buying me drinks.

Come to approach me and tell me those dreaded words.

“Why are you so beautiful?”

And I couldn’t reply because I didn’t have an answer. 

I couldn’t comprehend why my appearance was so important. 

Why no one ever stopped to consider what made me who I was.

Because I am so much more than a face full of makeup.

Or a size two Louis Vitton dress that I’ll only wear once.

 

 Because when Poisdeon held me down in a back alleyway and took what was mine,

I couldn’t help but hear all those words ring in the back of my head.

“You are so beautiful, Medusa.”

“Medusa, you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen.”

And as his fingers tore bloody strands of gold from my skull,

That was the most important question I still had.

“Will I still be beautiful?”

For this man who had become a god over me had rewritten the very word. 

 

After he is done with me and leaves me, I am covered in scars no one will see. 

And the doctor cuts my hair and the strands feel like snakes crawling over my skin. 

I look for help to the churches and temples, begging to be forgiven,

So, I pray to their gods and their saints and to anyone who will hear me. 

And they tell me I’m to blame, I’m the one at fault and I will have no forgiveness. 

Because in the eyes of the Lord I am no longer beautiful. 

 

Then there is this burden inside me left from his actions, 

And my mother mourns over the loss of her beautiful child. 

And my sisters relish in what I have become. 

Because now I am just as monstrous as they are. 

I am just like them and they welcome me with open arms. 

But, now, I stand there before them as they tell me.

“No man will ever want a monster like you.”

And that hurts me because it wasn’t my choice. 

“If any man sees you they’ll turn to stone.”

Because I am left so hideous from the actions of another,

My appearance is so devastating it would turn a man into stone. 

 

I leaf through catalogues and see the TV play Miss Whatever Country,

And how the crowd cheers and how I used to look like that.

Left alone with the guilty feelings because I’ve been created an abomination. 

My face disfigured and my head shaved, scars upon scars trace my skull. 

Like serpents bursting through the bone marrow casing around my brain. 

It begs the question of the week, the month, the year and even the century,

 

“Am I still beautiful?”

 

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