The Body Box
She is the body slim
who's shown to us everyday
smiling cover girl
wife and mother-debutante
supple woman hood
and many place themselves
beside her life-sized cut
to see if there is a body fit
and then make-up
and plastic surgery
flow from the credit cards
vision seen in vanity mirrors
no one knows
that she wonders
if that outward glow
to assuage her inward doubts;
'Am I a person
or just this cut-out
that people, especially men
even desire on sight;
take these glances as my birthright
yet why do I, nonethess, remain insecure?
There are no wars like the Beauty Wars
where every pound, line and bulge
is surveyed each day, acessed and graded,
even by people that don't even know you
yet feel free to inspect like this
reflecting back to me
'I do or I don't like this'
like the Facebook avatar.
I took the positive looks
I never desired
until the day I made the change;
looked in the mirror
and walked out make-up less
feeling utterly naked
noticing right away every non-glance
This I thought will be what it will be like aging
no longer beautiful, sexy or attractive
to all except those who share or have shared the same
But there were exceptions this make-up less day
women noticed-some of them could tell what I had done
and stared at me sideways, some thinking she looked odd
some thinking me brave, some even guessing that I was making a statement.
But not the men. They didn't look therefore didn't know
me in my invisible self.
Here I was on the street shaking my fist at the media parasites
who had made me afraid of facing life without the mask
I had to pay them to acquire-terror really
'Buy what I tell you to or you'll not have your 'happily ever after.'
I walked into the coffee shop and Bob said
Something about you is different-did you cut your hair? '
It was like that, all day. Men didn't get it but women did.
Maybe I thought I will start my own revolution, maybe where a sign
that says 'You can go make-up less.'
They would say I is a threat to the whole American economy, suppose it really caught on and billions would not be spent, the Macy's cosmetic counter would close.
Models would suddenly look plain.
And if it spread to plastic surgery as well
it could bring big noses back.
Lonnie Hicks's Other Poems
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