Don’t call me beautiful,”
And most sincerely.
“I’m not beautiful, not yet.”
I look at you
Past the featherless scalds in your velvet wings
Past your dull, hell-bent halo with but a faint glimmer surviving
And into your eyes.
I see the hate and hurt in your flexing pupils
And try to protect you from seeing the same things in my own
Though I shouldn’t worry - your eyes are blind
Blind to what you’ve done to yourself, and
Blind to what you’ve done to me.
And I whisper for the thousandth time today
Patiently, stolidly still:
“No, you are.”
And I will say it a thousand more times
As I sit here
Holding your limp head in my lap
And stroking your stale hair
Because you need to hear it
You need to know your (swan) song is heard.
Your last staggering, faltering note resounds in me forever
And I will help you, if only by saying once more,
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.