When we were 10, we laughed loudly at the back of the room. Teeth buck, and eyes shut, shoelaces untied and knees untouched. I looked at my own reflection only to see how red the sun had turned me, I chuckled at the peeling, though it hurts, I knew there was more for me to see. There was no need for rouge- just rough. My best friend looked at her own reflection only to see how badly she had scraped the bend of her knee. Ugly was not in our dictionary, but neither was pretty. In unkempt braids, hair bouncing as we chased the pink butterflies we did not intend to mimic. We knew these kinds of wounds would fade. We didn’t realise ugly was supposed to bring more hurt to feel, when it came from girls who thought pretty was supposed to heal. And still, I touch the burns from the steam iron and the far-too-many cicatrices from the concrete. I remember the desire and the bittersweet, my body made a map for the universe to mark out where I’ve been. In my sleep I run through the wild wheat a thousand times over, but I flinch at the idea of female bathrooms and looking past the landmarks and monuments to see dirt roads. And still, we remained burnt, we remained scraped, we remained unkempt.
ugly, self-image, body image, positivity, love, life, sad, heart, beauty, girl