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Apr 2020
"I should have told you more often how gorgeous you are,"
he says while his lips cut deeper into my open wounds,
broken fragments of our memories littered throughout.

"I never wanted to be gorgeous", I say,
feeling his cold hands move through me.
Gorgeous women carry burdens I want no part of.
No, I wanted to be everything else.
I wanted to be loved.

But then you always say it - "baby you're so gorgeous",
and now I'm supposed to thank you for these bones,
for these eyes from my mother,
for a body you wouldn't love when the weight it carried wasn't

I lay awake holding love handles and cradling cheeks,
remembering every time a man called me "gorgeous"
and meant usable.

called me "gorgeous"
and meant agreeable.

called me "gorgeous"
and meant better if she's silent.

called me "gorgeous"
and meant too forgiving.

called me "gorgeous"
and meant less than whole.

called me "gorgeous"
and meant less than I am.

"Let me show you the parts of your body I like the most," he says
with a sly smile, constructing a mental roadmap.  
"No, let me show you the pieces of your soul that lured me", I reply.
I want to be introduced to the raw, untamed corners of your mind.
I want to compare the beauty of our understandings.
I want to be asked how it's possible that the entire universe can fit
inside of a kiss, a ring, and an outstretched hand.
I want to know why faces so admired fade from memory so quickly.

I never wanted to be gorgeous.
Written by
Joanna Dowdell  F/Toronto, ON
(F/Toronto, ON)   
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