How to feel beautiful
when you’re a 25-year-old
with 80-year-old bones.
Wear dresses everyday
because they’re easier to slip on.
Put on your darkest shade of lipstick
to match what feels like blood
seeping out of you.
Cut your hair short so it styles itself,
less work in the morning
when you wake up with an orchestra
of drumstick knuckle cracks.
Tell yourself you’re beautiful
so you start feeling it.
Ignore the coupling up all around you —
be strong on your own.
You’ll never have the bodies
you see in magazines, never walk
without a limp at the end of the day.
So tell yourself your size and shape
is all you have — your blood is still
made up of iron from ancient stars.