Broken Beauty

Authenticity:
13 letters construed in a manner of
unbothered,
unaltered,
and unchangeable
realism.
 
Authentic, bare and exposed,
I stand in front of a mirror which
reflects myself onto me,
suffocating,
like a harsh humidity.
 
Society is in the mirror 
and it taunts me, 
looking me up and down,
and I find myself questioning
 
If my curves are curved correctly,
if my off-white teeth are white enough,
if my ribs stick out too much 
when I suck in the gut 
that's meant to be flat,
but isn't.
 
I'm supposed to look different, 
but I don't.
 
Flawless body, pushed-up chest, and long eyelashes.
 
Can you see me? 
In the scars on my knees that once
bled and were bandaged when I was a child,
with my thick, heavy hair that always 
seems to get complaints when it's cut,
with my small, crescent eyes like moons 
that brighten up rooms when I smile?
 
Can you smell me?
In the freshly-fallen raindrops
that soak the earth's soil
that I love to breath in,
in the baby lotion
I still smother all over my skin
(the pink one's my favorite),
in the aroma of book pages
that draws me in?
 
Can you taste me?
In my black-coffee attitude
bitter on your tongue,
in my sugar-cookie-sweet
want to befriend you,
in my scrambled eggs and salsa, 
because heaven knows I've been influenced,
but I've topped it off with my own touch?
 
Can you hear me?
In the squeak that comes out when I 
laugh so hard I can't breathe,
in the maximized volume of my stereo
that makes my walls tremble 
when I sing,
in the rasp of the voices of the great Holiday and Aguilera,
different, I know,
but can always manage to set my ears 
in a trance?
 
Can you touch me?
Can you feel the
goosebumps arise on my skin
when powerful words sink in?
Can you move me the way
my dreams and visions move
the corners of my mouth
into a grin?
Can you inspire me
and rush through my veins
like my passion to speak,
to create,
to exhilarate?
 
Can you see me?
I still stand in front of the mirror.
My skin and bones stand with me,
embarrassed and ashamed.
 
-
 
My name is Zaskia Natalie Villa Acevedo,
and if you've only seen my image before,
and only picked out the things I am not,
then let me expose myself to you.
 
I am confidence and I am fear.
I am willingness and I am refusal.
I am indecision and I am absolute.
 
You can find me cast in the shadows
or in the spotlight on stage.
 
I am asymmetrical,
sarcastic and sensitive,
and I curse the force that decided
I would feel things so deeply,
but I love it.
 
Born Mexican-American, 
dark brown eyes and hair,
roman nose and crooked teeth;
 
I fancy perspectives,
like when the sun decides to break 
through the darkness with its
pinks and its blues,
and when the stop lights
paint strokes
on the rainy roads.
I am heavy on paper like 
the ink of my pen that bleeds
through teary words in my
journal.
I sip the starry nights in my
little town 
like a hot cup of tea.
 
I am depth.
I am the voice that you hear
ringing through my words
saying: this is who I am,
saying: I am not ashamed 
and I will NEVER change
any aspect of myself to please you. 
 
I turn away from the mirror,
and turn back once more
to shatter the 
intractable, and
miscommunicated criticism
with a blow of my fist,
because there's more beauty
in the broken pieces,
anyway.
 
Can you see me now?
Look at me.
 
I am empowered,
I am authentic,
and I am beautiful.
This poem is about: 
Me

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