Inside Out

Clothes make the man. You’re a girl, better hide it.

Little cousin: What are those bumps in your dress?
Teacher: Your shirt’s too tight, I can see the form of your body.
Mother: Do you really want everyone seeing your backside? Wear a looser skirt.

Makeup fakeup. Never go out without it.

Mother: You can’t leave the house looking like that. Put some makeup on.
Brother: I’ll never trust a woman, they’re all liars – look at how they lie with their faces.
Teacher: I’ve inspected your face and have found it wanting – go scrub your makeup off.

Wear earrings – but not too big, not too ostentatious.
Wear heels – but not too high, not too ostentatious.
Wear rings – but not too large, not too ostentatious.
Wear colors – but not too bright, not too ostentatious.

Teacher: Strive to move unseen, unnoticed. Your body is a distraction from your soul.
Mother: A shadchan can be looking at you anywhere you go. Always look your best.
Shadchan: Turn around so I can get a better look at you. What size do you wear?

The voices – they roar and they fill up my brain.
The judgments, instructions, the rules and the blame.

Look in the mirror – who do I see?
I see a stranger looking back at me.

Close my eyes, feel my body, hands on my waist.
Close my eyes, travel inwards, block out that face.

There’s my kidneys, those funny things, shaped just like beans.
Oh, look, there’s my spleen – what does it do again?
My intestines spread out like unraveled brains –
travel round organs like unstopping trains.

But oh, there they are – my ovaries, my tubes.
And oh, there they are – my uterus, my womb.
The organs I’ve guarded, because they make me precious.
The organs I’ve cherished because they are my purpose.
The organs that make me me, defining my essence?
The organs that require so much makeup, so much fakeup, so much hiding, so much – no.

Take a breath – there’s my lungs.
Feel blood pumping – my heart.
The organs that make me me?
I don’t know.

Do I know?

There’s my brain – there’s my brain, that lumpy gray mass.
There’s my brain – there’s that beauty, that lumpy gray mess.

There’s my skin – makeup-free, look, it’s just me.
There’s my skin – dare I look when I know it’s just me?
There’s my skin – holding all of me, organs intact.
There’s my skin – hello, lovely – flaws and all, lies and fact.

I’m getting to know me – the me that I am.
I’m getting to know me – to know who I am.
I’m getting to know me – from the inside out.
I’m getting to know me – know what I’m all about.

Now with my eyes open, I’ll still see myself.
And with my eyes open, I’ll still know myself.
Now with my eyes open, I’ll still know my self.
And with my eyes open, I’ll still see my self.

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Image from Daydreams by Hanna Karlzon.

4 thoughts on “Inside Out

  1. My only question is, how didn’t this poor girl’s head explode before she realized that the world is a mad hell-wanna-be populated by make-belief humans pretending to be perfect angels (in the making)?

    In the beginning, there was heartbreak feeding the light of lies. The girl lived and learned in light and dark… and saw that she was the good and the bad that made all things balanced. She was Nature, and Nature was good. So, she made herself… more.

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