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poem for writing prompt: "Perfection"

my response to today's writing group prompt: "perfection"


pink sweater
white ballet flats
blue eyeshadow
peach lipstick
legs crossed
lace-trimmed anklets
hands clasped lightly
in my lap
head tilted
just so

look at me
trying to be perfect
I always did
I used a lot of hairspray
and liquid foundation
and powder foundation

that's no foundation

the smoothness of my skin
is not my foundation

the camouflaging of
colors and freckles and variations
making it all homogenous
making it all the same
making it all blend in

that is not my foundation

and yet
in a way
it is

because it's where
I come from

who I am now
was founded
in those lace-trimmed anklets
that peach lipstick
that exceedingly tidy hair
with its protective layer
of immobilizing varnish

now I varnish my art
spray sealant on collages
and my hair is wild

I'm wearing
mismatched
tie-dyed
socks right now

I haven't worn lipstick
or eye shadow
in more than a decade
maybe two

I don't use paints
to mask what people
might call
my flaws

I don't use
liquid foundation
to even my skin tone
and make sure that
there's nothing
nothing
that might make anyone
look

now I use liquid foundation
in the form of watercolors
as the base for
collages
collages which
people are
meant
to look at

creating art
instead of camouflage

expressing what's inside
instead of worrying
about being visible

my mom hates
that I wear socks
that don't match
she says
people might not know
that you did it on purpose
they might think
it's a mistake

but when she says that
I just say,
"So?"

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