a face made flawless



Nokyoung Xayasane

Sometimes when I look at my face in the mirror,
I see a face made flawless
with makeup.
I wish I could wake up looking like this,
this beautiful.

And then I think about the forgiving nature of water,
how it restores and reveals,
how it shows my true face.

Sometimes I forget what my face looks like,
presented this way.
I am just me,
after all.
But I forget
I am also her.
I am her
to you and to others.

They like to remind me.
You are beautiful, they say.
Thank you, I say.
But that’s like being grateful
for your dark hair
or the symmetry of your lines.
Those are things you can’t control.

When I take my makeup off
I know
this isn’t me

There is someone we all are,
someone in between,
in between the flawless
and the raw.

But I’ll keep on pretending
and maybe you will

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