External Lies

“Do you understand me?”

He asked.


The answer was always no.

She would never understand.


She slides the earrings into place,

Letting the gold hoops swing and glimmer

As she slips her socked feet into black heeled boots.

Her white jeans are strategically ripped

From the tops of her thighs,

To the base of her ankles.

Her black shirt is cropped,

Letting her bare stomach

Serve as a beacon of her defiance.


When she was twelve,

Her mother told her to wrap her hair in scarves,

Or else the others would hate her

For the simple fact that it was different.


Today, her hair is loose,

Curls of blonde, red, and black

Coiling in every direction

As they frame her made-up face.


When she was seventeen,

Her drunken uncle told her

That wearing make-up

Was sending the wrong idea to the men around her.


Today, her eyes are dramatized

With thick black liner and elongated eyelashes,

And her lips are stained a deep red

To amplify the pleased smile that

Curls up the ends of her mouth.


When she was eighteen,

She was told by her teacher

That, when she spoke with conviction,

It was equal to that of an assault to his person.


Today, she speaks her mind

With the same amount of conviction and certainty,

But three times the confidence.

She will gladly be the bitch

To finally say what she’s thought her entire life:


She’s sick of this shit.


She remembers how that attitude came to be,

The day she was given a talk.

He sat her down

And began to speak.


She watched as his lips moved,

But the stream of words seemed to float harmlessly to the ground

And disappear into piles of nothingness

Right before her very eyes.


She remembers staring at the floor in wonderment,

And marveling at the futility of words.


She took note of how unaffected she was,

And how much that affected her.


But, when she looked up

Into the eyes of her lecturer,

She saw her own reflection—

And she was proud.


“Do you understand me?”

He asked.


The answer was always no.

She would never understand.


How could she be beautiful, but not too beautiful.

Smart, but not too smart.

Bold, but not too bold.



She couldn’t.

And she would no longer try to be.


2 thoughts on “External Lies

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