Beautiful Underground - Poem by Patti Masterman
I used to eat the makeup;
Eat the lipsticks, and the liquid makeup
Turned my tongue a delicate beige.
Once I choked myself on a mouthful of powder
At a crucial moment, when my mother
And grandmother were occupied, as always:
When mother came to pick me up,
They would tell each other briefly of their day.
At the exact instant they were talking;
Unobserved in the bedroom adjoining,
I bit into that white talcum.
I don't know why I always did such things:
Perhaps I thought it would go all thru me,
Disguising the flaws and imperfections
On the inside; all the invisible places.
Even if only I knew my insides were perfect
Primer beige, with red blushing lipstick highlights,
Still it meant I was beautiful at least on the inside.
I was not allowed to wear makeup
On the outsides of me.
Don't things denied us
Always move underground, anyway?
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