Allow the wisdom to remain; but the sting, I shall never feel again—

This is the 40th time         in 2 hours            I’ve checked the mirror                  and tugged at my face.

This is my 39th orbit around the sun,        and I can’t recall a day   where I haven’t tugged at my face            40 times in 2 hours.

I try to make myself uncomfortable,        so I can have an excuse to look in a mirror            and tug at my face           and remember that rouged cheeks mean health         and I am in need of some health,              if I am to keep going       and reach my 40th orbit.


no           cameras.

I couldn’t fathom the ache of the lens,

or the feel of my cheeks,

as I tug at the consequence.

There are no minor scars or aberrations.

They are marvelous trenches      and tsunamis     that engulf, when I’m sitting calmly eating dinner with my husband.

I’ve been told I am not a woman                if I don’t know the contents of my purse.

Or if my hips haven’t birthed                       anything that screams.

So I look 40 times             in 2 hours for these things,

and I find that the brute in my chest        has an excess of screams              and an excess of chapsticks in its purse     cause it likes to taste itself come Spring.

I am repetitive grooming,

only now I’ve let my hair grow long          and the mammal in me bows gently at my surrender.

I eat fruit and let juice    fall over my breasts, they deserve all the sweetness that I never give.

                Instead, I’ve sliced at their flesh, ripe mangoes gone ripe at my fingertips

Begged lovers to bite; take chunks off

display them as I see them,                          night after night/ a camouflaged sight


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