You Say That I'm Beautiful


I have never known beautiful.

First the flash of a crooked smile,

Then the wire rimmed glasses.

A long, straight nose,

The sickening, overwhelming desire to be thin.


I have never felt the sting of jealous eyes like wasps, piercing into innocent skin.


I wrote lists to myself: you will never be good enough for him, or him, or him.

But they crawled into my bed, my head

Whispered forevers into willing ears.

I should have known “ forever” meant “for now”.


Because a corpse can only be pretty for so long.

What’s to love about rotting flesh?

There’s only so much time before maggots

In the brain

Start showing in cold cheeks,

Through the cracks in a rib cage,

In eye sockets and that mouth you used

To kiss.


But when you say that I'm beautiful, the whole concept feels so tangible.


When you whisper your "forevers",

They feel new-they feel real.

When you tell me I am beautiful,

I don't picture maggots wriggling through my brain.

I think I could believe you.



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