She cakes her lipstick thick
Not trashy
Not flashy

Making colorful faced reflections in the mirror
Eyes quivering
As the silver slivers of her fingernails tear
Floating crescents to a tiled floor
All the while voices rising
Through her stereo's broken crescendos
Flowing from the kitchen cabinets
And pouring down her dress

She confessed once to me that's she not as strong
As she sometimes longs to be
Among the throng of woman kings
A lovely hierarchy we thought we made
To avenge all those bare-breasted years
Feminine fears tied up in corset knots
But we're not better
No not yet

Through her cigarette smoke she licked
Tonguing the cuts and pricks
"It's dry out"
She whispers but I remember shouts
Of protesters at the wall behind us
She advised me not to turn around
And I found it almost too easy

Her arms are so thin
I think I want to tear them off
Tie them to my throat
She's just that (too) beautiful

In silence I could hear her saying
How she used to be just like me
Using petty faith against this traitorous world
But she always wanted more

So one day she caved out her insides
Cried all her futile tears and slowed her pulse
To merciless salvation
Picking apart all her once-were prayers
Layering her skin from photographs
Of all the other women she never believed
She would be

But here she's standing in front of me
Leather boots under a tablecloth skirt
Hair slightly sheared and bleached
Tangled and unclean
And it's unbelievable
How beautiful she still manages to be

I left her unresolved
Leaning against that wall
With the moss reaching out to touch her cheeks
Knowing she won't turn around
Not even eventually

And I decided I'll never be that stunning
Running away from who I am or was
Into an invisible figure of who I'd like to be

I'm going to stay in bed
Curled within my nakedness
And smiling