tell me what is

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I used to make these


scrawled onto scrap

paper written desperately

with ink in a

child’s old journal sometimes

even on my hands, my arms,

those problematic thighs

beneath the school desk

of nothing inspirational

no to-dos or groceries,

just this:

teeth not white enough

laughter not bright enough

too thick, too sensitive

too irrational

too much of nothing.

eventually I burned all the

stationery I stopped

reminding myself of

silly human imperfections

even stopped looking in

the mirror for a while

because if I couldn’t

love me at least I

could forget what it

was I longed to

change, and I have

since glimpsed my

reflection in those

who’ve tried to

tell me what is

good and every time

I stay a little longer,

look a little deeper,

maybe even understand.

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