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Kay C., 20 Jul '16

Pale Imitations

Our glory is your glory
Our success is your success
Our brilliance is your brilliance.

It is all thanks to you,
You say, raising your glass
Crowing, shouting,
Talking above our voices
Silencing us until
All they can hear is you.

How easily you claim us:
Your children.

You claim our maturity
As though it wasn't your fault
That we grew up too fast
Having to play the parents
While you played the child
With nowhere to turn to
Except the knives on my skin
His cigarettes on his stairs
Until he and I learned
To turn to one another
A slow gravitation
Once you stopped pitting us against each other.

You claim our looks
Saying we inherited them from you
We are beautiful to you
Only when it is convenient
In other words:
When others compliment us
But when you want to claim that compliment too.

The other times,
We are ugly, unpresentable
Why can't I go to the gym? You implore.
Why can't he eat less? You ask.
Take a good look at yourselves, you say
Pushing the mirrors towards us.

We grew to hate our likenesses.

Why are we not more like you?
We used to wonder that too.

It took me a decade to unlearn
That I have to be you to be beautiful
Because I know now that is all you see
That beauty and perfection exist only in your image
And everyone else is a but a pale reflection.
Did you think we would forget
How you would buy the best clothes for yourself
To give us the scraps?

It took me a decade,
And I am still not okay.
He is ten years younger than I,
How do you think he feels?

You claim our talents
As though you understand
How much we drowned in our passions
To get away from you.
I escaped in my books
And he in his games
So we could not hear your voice,
Our hands tight on our ears,
While from the other side of the glass,
Your vitriol seeped through the cracks
Poisoning our dreams
And ambitions
Because we would never be worthy.

You claim all the credit
But none of the devastation
You ignore
The fragments of glass from
When we hated ourselves so much
We finally broke the mirrors
Shards in our hands
Screaming when
We wanted to hurt
We wanted to rend
We wanted to die
Because things are invisible to you
Unless they can make you look good.

We will never be good enough
To earn the love you held hostage
Because even you think you don't deserve it
But we are done with you punishing us
To punish yourself for being unable to learn what love is.

You claim what you want
And deny the rest of us
That won't earn you applause
From your friends and admirers
Because anything that is taboo
Because anything that has no shine
Because anything that is broken
Is dirty laundry.

We are just props to your ego
Puppets on your stage
Where you are the highlight of the show
Doing your endless solo,
The principal dancer
The lead singer
The one and only
The most beautiful woman in the world.

To yourself, we are extensions
As you chase your ascension
Your glittering high.

How do you like your pedestal?
The fans in your crowd?
Their gazes are reverent
Your adoring supplicants
Are all you could ever ask for
In your labyrinth of delusions
In your house of mirrors
That you have come to believe is real.