P r e t t y

A poem by Sofia Sears

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Art by Mia Gleiberman

you’re pretty

p r e t t y

 

the word hangs flat on my tongue

tastes of sawdust; drys the saliva out

 

a universal chant rings out at once

we are a void we are nothing

 

the world goes still and holds its anxious breath

a sigh of relief at my thank you and blush of the cheeks

 

a girl is taught somewhere

she lowers her voice and eyes turn dead

 

obligatory loveliness presents itself as a gift

i hide in it and bathe in it

 

i never disobey the kingdom’s absolutes

the pathways lead to a ravenous, wicked forest with those lost

 

after you learn about obedience and

understand your place in the princess regime,

 

you follow the rest of the half-girls into the castle

there is no food and there’s blood on the floor and on your skirt

 

soulless, child-bearer, gorgeous, feminine

pretty.

 

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