Unexpected Loveliness

I watch your head turn

Delighted to find your hidden shapes and eager to follow your lines

Different than I thought you’d be

And all the better

Eyes full

Of life lived and life left to live

They pull me in so hard I think I left my bones behind

Resplendent in their wholeness

They are sparkling sunshine between their iris leaves

My breath catches and for a moment I fear I’ll burst

But before I turn to blush

I realize they’re holding me softly

And I think maybe I could stay here a while

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Sympathy for the Ugly

I have always strived to be beautiful, even in my grief. I have hollowed out my stomach before allowing myself to cry, made myself presentable to the object of my sorrow even in their absence. To cry is to beg for mercy, and from whom will this mercy come to an ugly girl? I know as I pour another drink it will only add to the lines, to the soft, wobbly flesh of my body, to the ruddy face that will scare and defeat me in the morning. I have no illusions to shield me from the grotesque nature of my failings; they are written all over me and they are all the more reason to hide. Maybe if I could will myself up and out of this hole, I could tell my tale from the other side. The side where I am beautiful, just as I’d always dreamed I’d be. My pain would bring me their tenderness and I would acquiesce to the reprieve in my feeble glory. Until then, I will hide in the safety of the walls this hole provides, for no one feels sympathy for the ugly. We are repulsive, even to ourselves. The relief of letting go and letting the darkness overcome us is short-lived, for always there is the shame of knowing the disgust our visible distress would bring.