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Take the Guise Away from your Face

Patricia Barber wakes up at eight every morning
looks out the window, and sees the sun is shining
then sits down and polishes every empty glass on the table
they hadn't been used for 16 years.

Then watches herself reflected back in the crystal.
Never let her teardrops fall on the glass or the china
or the tablecloth which was a gift from her husband.

You who talk of fairness and space
and critisize all traps in which we fall,
take the guise away from your face
you aren't fooling anyone at all.

Tiffani Williams turned sixteen today
and reflected her life in her cracked, dirty mirror
her makeup was smudged, her cigarette breath
her sexy t-shirt, her D report card
the baby that would soon be coming to get her.

Tiffani Williams was a kid in the dirt,
she played in the mirror and had stones on her wishes.
she didn't ask once for the barbie doll for christmas
and she didn't ask once for the talking elmo toy.
She didn't ask once to hear a story from her parents.
And she didn't ask for her endless slew of bruises.

You who talk of fairness and space
and critisize all traps in which we fall,
take the guise away from your face
you aren't fooling anyone at all.

Christina Bingham had a big nose and wore glasses
she was heavy in stature and spoke with a lisp
but she never once forgot to study
piled all her pencils on top of her books
and never looked out the pretty window because she was wearing blinders
to get straight A's, to go off to Harvard
and to make her parents proud that she was finally their daughter

Mommy and Daddy wanted an ivy league prop
someone to brag about to their friends at the club.
She'd wear little polo shirts and pearls
and major in women's literature

Christina Bingham didn't go to harvard
she ended up bloody on the cold concrete sidewalk
her eyes were pleading and smiling at the police tape
and mommy and daddy pretended like they didn't even know her
when the police drove by.

You who talk of fairness and space
and critisize all traps in which we fall,
take the guise away from your face
you aren't fooling anyone at all.



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