Skin paler than faded books handed down from mother,
lips puffing out of my face, unnaturally red, embarrassing
even as I push them out farther, in front of mirrors or windows
reveling in the source of prejudice for others
with lips glistening out, Snow White red, almost enviable,
but only when placed on a canvas of white. On brown
they are forced out farther by sneers of those ignorant
to the prejudices they never realized they held.
Only when placed on a canvas of white instead of brown
are the beauties that I have been gifted with appreciated,
exempt from the prejudices they hold inherent,
my hips wide, hair curled, considered ethnic on someone darker.
The beauties that I have been gifted with have successfully covered
the mental decay that causes shaking and begs me to give up,
that holds prejudices of danger and hysterics,
starting before I had words for the halting grind
of mental decay, shaking and shattering even strengthened resolve,
so easily evaporated when breathing halts and tears begin,
pushed out by the fear of becoming danger or hysterics,
not understanding what is wrong or how to stop,
longing to evaporate when breathing halts and tears begin,
thoughts cycling between actions deemed immoral by the church
that I never understood as wrong, never leaving my thoughts,
thoughts longing for softer bodies and long, swishing hair,
thoughts I had been taught were immoral by the church,
a church I long since stopped believing in not just because
I longed for softer bodies and long, swishing hair,
but because I can’t understand a god who would make
a church that I wasn’t welcome in because
I didn’t fit in the white picket fence dream,
because the god I don’t claim placed me
next to my sister, the perfect Catholic, my parents’ dream.
She fits perfectly into the white picket fence mold, while
I, the polyamorous, bisexual, mentally ill atheist, never could
pretend to be the perfect Catholic that exists only in my parent’s dreams.
I have long since accepted my unacceptance.
My polyamorous, bisexual, mentally ill, atheist self
is hidden behind my eyes, reflected in mirrors and windows
as I revel in my unacceptance
that I love like faded books handed down from mother.