January 2, 2015

Make-up. {Poem}

Photo: Courtney Rhodes / Flickr

What am I making up?

You make up a missed exam.
You make up after an argument.
You make up a story.

Does my face need made-up?

The surgeons took a bone out of her chest
then placed it in her nose.
Ripped back the very flesh next to her heart.
“It looks better now,” she tells me.

Did she not know that nose told the story of her Balinese heritage?

That’s not the story she saw.
It was the cheap super-market magazine with all the tips:

“Contour, conceal, make disappear”

Appear god damn it! Appear!

I see my three year-old’s unsteady fingers
dragging the wand through the princess pink powder.
“I want to be pretty too, Mommy.”

She wants to be like me.

As I stand in the bathroom mirror trying to put a sparkle in my eye.

“Does Daddy think I’m pretty too?”

Press it straight
Paint it up
Get those eyes to hide that story
Work it out
Spray it on

Are we pretty now?

Are we pretty now?

Then I hear the heart screaming through the cloud of Chanel No. 5,

“Did we make up something the world can love now?”


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Author: Amy Wardana

Volunteer Editor: Kim Haas / Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Courtney Rhodes / Flickr

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