of louche hair and gauche boys
at fifteen all we wanted was
to be pretty, to be adored
with our short skirts, cropped shirts
soft laughter and even softer whispers
— as if none of our opinions mattered.
we’d paint our nails, scrub ourselves
clean and white, gleaming white
like a brand new set of veneers,
artificial and ready-to-go
for boys made of pure filth;
dye our hair brown and bronze,
chestnut and hazel and almond
(god, we must’ve been nuts!)
— so many different tones till we were
richer than an entire forest itself.
too rich, perhaps, for the boys with
sun-kissed skin and wind-mussed hair,
eyes crinkling like paper
whenever they smiled.
i’d smile back and rein myself in
as one reins an unruly horse
venturing into the vast wilderness;
take my positions as i should,
stand beside you like a trophy
as i hid my own, like muted gold.
for you i became a slab of bronze,
shushing my valors and vanities
in order to not outshine you.
to be loved, seen and heard,
i must neither speak nor stand.
instead I must sit still, quiet
as you ramble on about your
grand ambitions in nothing but
aspirational terms, empty
as a tree’s hollow cavity.
funny how I clung on to your every word
as if it were a gospel truth
— you? oh, how wretched,
how terribly wicked!
you’re the furthest thing from God himself.
here is my curse. may you never escape
from the endless, burning pit in my chest
— this is your eternal damnation.