I wrote yesterday, but did not post it. I performed this one at open mic last night.
“Ma’am. Ma’am, a free gift,
just for you”
I was trying to avoid eye contact, as I walked by.
I just wanted to get to the movie theater
to catch a showing of Logan and stuff
my face with popcorn.
The packet of moisturizer
was shoved in my face
and I made the fatal error:
I looked at her
and before I knew it
I was inside the beauty store
with gel slathered on my arm
and this perfectly makeuped girl
asking me if the redness in my cheeks
“I’m just pale,” I answer,
forcing the smile to freeze on my face.
She rattled off questions about my beauty ritual
while I tried to get away.
“You’re not wearing makeup, are you?”
“No.” I said.
“Why don’t you pamper yourself?”
“Because I’m poor and I just want to
go see a fucking movie.”
I finally broke away
and settled in at the movies
on my birthday.
As I sat and watched a broken down
mutant struggle to keep his life in order
and I gloried instead in the power
of a brown girl,
almost feral, decapitating skinheads.
If there’s something children,
in a world forcing them to fight for their lives
give zero fucks about,
it’s the redness in my cheeks
and the price of my beauty ritual.