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Imagine needing to think you’re beautiful

And you’re not.

You keep telling yourself yes there’s help

Even though there really isn’t a lot.

You enjoy the gleaming eye and the love

Of someone; but you don’t know it’s their self-love

Which excites them—their beauty, not yours,

Is the passage, and other shores not yours

Their fate. Not you, but the wine

Made her moan, her eyes shine,

And she agreed to take a few tours,

She, the stupidly, sweetly, innocently beautiful, oh beauty

That will never be yours. You will be alone,

Thinking you are beautiful, and you’re not.

You’ll pay for the airfare, and this savage spot,

And you’ll look at all the swaying beauty,

Thinking you are beautiful. Like Lily Lane,

And her professor—what’s his name?

You will smile, and they will smile back—with pity.

The hotel staff,

Even the beggars on the island, will laugh.

I like you. Do you really think you’re pretty?

Be quiet, they might think you’re smart.

Make junk—call it original art.

Swagger, threaten, there are many ways,

To excel, work hard—even on Sundays.

Play the victim; this can be charming.

There are many ways to be disarming.

I was terribly shy as a blonde child,

And I was protected in Manhattan’s wild.

Be anything your heart desires.

But not beautiful. Those are sacred, distant fires.


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