I want to be pretty. Not in the way magazines do it where everything is tucked, twisted, tuned and polished because I am not an ideal. And I will never be the Mona Lisa with a coyness that leaves people wondering what I've smelled, touched, tasted in every moment of my life, because I am not a treasure. I want to be the kind of pretty where my little sister can see a galaxy of pride in my eyes and know she's ten times more beautiful than I could ever be (or at least she'll know I think so.) I want to be pretty in the way that strangers don't know if I'm kind or powerful or manipulative and are timidly curious that maybe I'm all three. I want to be pretty in the way that I am all three, and so much more. I want to be pretty so that when I'm older I can be half as beautiful as my mom. I want to be pretty so that my friends see honesty in the corners of my eyes and security in my fingertips and hold my gaze with evenness as my equals. I want to be pretty, the kind of pretty where you bring me home, we reflect each other like lighted mirrors and your mom will smile that knowing smile because in three years you'll want to see a ring on my finger and she knows her baby will do it in five. And I want to be pretty so when my hair is damp, my eyeliner cakes my face like charcoal and a towel is wrapped around my body... When I look in that mirror I see fireflies and lightning and not an abandoned house in a quiet street with the attic light left on.
this is a poem I wrote for an upcoming slam poetry night. it will be my second poem ever performed and I am very nervous and excited. please feel free to critique before this Friday (June 21st) and let me know your thoughts! wish me luck!