March 21, 2008
By Abbie Mendoza, Brea, CA

She was a strikingly beautiful creature,
Her ivory complexion glistening
Against the subtle lighting in the library.
Her luminous black hair cascading down her neck
Framing her chiseled, ovular face.
Even her hand traveled across her sketchbook
With such enviable dexterity
That I couldn’t help feeling awed
By such perfection.

But something about her
Was wrong; terribly wrong.

Her eyes were blank.
Complete surrender.
Over time,
She had learned to accept the idea
That she would always be moving,
Endlessly striving…
Never entirely satisfied.

"Such a tortured soul."

Suddenly, she pauses,
But only for a moment –
Enough time to level her head back,
Close her eyes, exhale,
And loosen the tight muscles around her neck.

Then –
Just as quickly, she opens her eyes
And resumes her work,
Shaking her legs beneath the table, her moves
Stiff, cautious, guarded.

But I will never forget that one moment –
That one brief yet poignant instant
When she had given in to the weakness
And allowed herself
To be human.

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