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The other morning I appeared
at the Estée Lauder building
dressed like a million dollars
acting as if every atom of me
gravitated together
via the miracle
of pure grace
and Bobbi Brown makeup artists
so beautiful as to cause
other women to kill themselves
fussed over me
to make me as beautiful as them
until they were satisfied
they called me
A Bronze Goddess
and took what felt like
hundreds of photographs

I hardly recognized myself
in the mirror
I thought they put
too much eye makeup
but they assured me
I looked divine

Twenty-four hours later
I was in a retreat house
in the highlands
dressed in a dark denim smock
covered in splotches of paint
and holding
art therapy sessions
with individuals whose job it was
to alleviate the sufferings
of underage rape victims
just so they could
get in touch with their inner children
and find some semblance of peace

they made me carry their luggage
seventeen times
up and down
the seventy-seven steps
the ultraviolet rays
kissing my body
that had unattractive big pores
and needed exfoliation

I was thoroughly sunburned
when I got home

I looked at the mirror that night
wondering if
there were other women
looking at their reflection
feeling as much themselves
and complete
and utterly beautiful
as I did at that moment