YOU WOULD NOT LIKE YOUR FACE IF YOUR MOTHER DID NOT LIKE IT

YOU WOULD NOT LINGER ON EPITHETS FOR EYES OR METAPHORS FOR MOUTHS

IF YOUR FACE LOOKED LIKE BURGER MEAT

YOU WOULDN’T SMILE SO HARD IF IT FELT LIKE YOUR CHEEKS WERE THE SUNRISE

SPLITTING YOUR FACE JUST WIDE ENOUGH

SO YOU COULD TASTE THE WET LIGHT

EVERYTIME YOU SMILE, YOUR FACE IS ONE OPEN WOUND

SO YOU DON’T SMILE

SMILING HURTS, YOU NEVER SMILE

YOUR FACE IS A SCAB YOU CAN’T STOP PICKING OPEN

JUST TO SEE THE LIGHT YOUR MOTHER CAN’T SEE

BUT I WANT HER TO SEE EVERYTHING

THE POSIES IN YOUR SKIN, THE SKIN ON YOUR TEETH

EVERYONE ALWAYS TALKS ABOUT HOW LOVELY YOU ARE

I ALWAYS HEAR ABOUT HOW LOVELY YOU ARE

SHOW HER YOUR STREET STOMPED SMILE, EVEN IF SHE CAN’T SWALLOW IT

WASN’T IT HER WHO TAUGHT YOU

TO LOVE YOUR OWN TORN FLESH?

WASN’T IT HER WHO STITCHED UP THE UGLY

SO SHE COULD PLANT KISSES ON SOIL

SMOOTH ENOUGH

FOR BEAUTY TO GROW?

THIS IS YOUR CHILD, YOUR HUSBAND, YOUR FAMILY

YOUR LEGACY, WRITTEN ACROSS YOUR FOREHEAD

LIKE A BILLBOARD FOR AN EXPENSIVE WATCH

NO ONE WILL EVER BUY

WHO WOULD

WHEN THE EARTH FIRST SPLIT OPEN, IT BLED YOU OUT

IT CRIED, BECAUSE NO ONE EVER TOLD IT THAT TEARS RUIN A COMPLEXION

EVERY ORIGIN STORY STARTS WITH PAIN AND ENDS IN DISAPPOINTMENT

I WAS TAUGHT EARLY THAT PAIN IS LOVE

JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF THE SAME STORY: A MORNING, A MISTAKE, A MAMA

YOU WOULD NOT LIKE YOUR FACE IF YOU COULD NOT LOVE YOUR PAIN,

IF NO ONE EVER CUT YOU OPEN, JUST TO SEE THE VIEW

YOU COULD NOT LIKE YOUR FACE IF YOU’VE NEVER SLICED IT YOURSELF

AND STOOD WATCHING THE DAYLIGHT POUR OUT OF YOU

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