CONTRADICTION

I run my hand across the battered and worn cover,

Feeling the dust collect in the creases of my palm.

I hear the ache of its spine as it creaks open,

Releasing a familiar scent: aged paper and fading ink;

A scent I spent hours immersed in as a child,

Desperately trying to understand, comprehend,

The many definitions in its vast world of words.

 

You ask me to describe who I am:

Tell you my stories, share my experiences,

But only one word comes to mind – I need to find it.

Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition.

Page 302, right column, tenth word from the top.

There it is – there I am.

 

“CONTRADICTION

     1 a contradicting or being contradicted

     2 a statement in opposition to another; denial

     3 a condition in which things tend to be contrary

       to each other; inconsistency; discrepancy

     4 a person, thing, or statement having contradictory

       elements or qualities”

 

I am a CONTRADICTION and a CONTRADICTION is who I am.

I cannot recall if I have always been,

I only know that I am completely one now.

Please, before further confusion, let me explain:

 

I encourage ‘natural’ beauty – a makeup-free identity,

Yet am ashamed to let sunlight see my face deprived of makeup.

 

I support the disregard of a money-hungry society,

Yet focus too much of my time on this bill and that check.

 

I advocate for positive thinking and optimism towards oneself,

Yet lock my mind in a prison of negativity and pessimism.

 

I preach that all body figures are ones of irrevocable beauty,

Yet have starved myself to reach ‘society’s’ beauty standards.

 

I will forgive you for your wrongdoings against myself and others,

Yet endlessly punish myself for any and all offenses I may cause.

 

I will laugh, smile, and proclaim my happiness,

Will tell you I am doing well and that my mind is much better,

Yet I still struggle with tormenting thoughts,

Still suffocate under the weight of depression,

Still fight the overwhelming want to self-annihilate.

 

You asked me to describe who I am:

Tell you my stories, share my experiences,

But only one word came to mind – I needed to find it.

Webster’s New World Dictionary: Third College Edition.

Page 302, right column, tenth word from the top.

There it remains – there I stay.

 

I clutch at the edges of the battered and worn cover,

Feeling the dust collect under my painfully gnawed-down nails.

I hear the ache of its spine as I slam it closed,

Assaulting my face with a familiar scent: aged paper and fading ink;

A scent I have just immersed myself in for hours,

Desperately trying to understand, comprehend,

The many reasons why I am a CONTRADICTION.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Citation:

Neufeldt, Victoria, and David B. Guralnik. "Contradiction."Webster's New

     World Dictionary of American English. Third College Edition ed. New

     York: Prentice Hall, 1994. 302. Print

 

This poem is about: 
Me

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