Me, Ugly

Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous.
Don’t you be shaking your head at me.
You didn’t even read each one of those the way I meant each.
You just skip over it and act like you know me better
than the one who’s stopped reading,
because I chased her off
because she took the time
but I didn’t like her seeing what I know
so I was my ugly me to her
because I’m hideous, hideous, hideous, hideous.
Stop telling me I’m not.
I know why you try to convince me,
and it makes me smile a little to know you desire me
but you don’t even see the sorrow behind the smile,
the sting of knowing that your desire is about you
and how I make a decent substitute for your hand,
rather than having anything but false compliments
about me, since if you really saw me for what I am
instead of what you wish I were, then you would know
that I will always be hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
She saw it. She didn’t pretend it wasn’t there
like you try to do. You think I am beautiful
only because you don’t see I’m hideous
and try to prove to me that I’m not.
You see only what you want for yours.
You want some lovely creature to fill in
for your wet dreams and shower fantasies,
and the hideous bitch I really am won’t work,
so you act like it’s just an ugly rumor passed around
by someone more deceitful than I’ve been known to be.
She saw through it all and still loved me.
You say you do, but you don’t even know
because you don’t realize it’s true,
how hideously hideous I am.
She saw and she knew.
And she loved me.
It didn’t chase her off.
To know I am hideous.
I did that.
Because I am that hideous.
Want to know exactly how hideous I am?
Ask me why I haven’t chased you off like I did to her,
and make sure you watch how straight I hold my eyes,
that practiced gaze to keep from showing the flicker of the lie.
When the truth is that I haven’t chased you off
precisely because you don’t know me well enough
to know how hideous I truly am. Hideous.
The minute you actually realize it,
you’re on the next bus out of town.
If I wasn’t going to put up with her loving me
even when she knows how hideous I am,
what makes you think I’d let you keep using me
if you were to actually catch on?
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Yeah, stop reminding me how truly hideous I am
by tickling my ear with soothing talk
about how she’s the hideous one
as though it’s proof you’re better than her
that I allow your lies instead of her love.
Stop reminding me, already. Stop.
You only succeed in showing me how much I’ve lost
and I only feel more hideous than ever.
You can’t prove to me that I’m not hideous
by reminding me how hideous I have been
by losing the one love who truly knew.
And anyway, you don’t know her either.
You try to make me feel better
by arguing that she’s the hideous one.
She’s not. You don’t know her.
You only think she’s hideous
because I told you so.
Because I’m hideous.
You really don’t get it, do you.
I’m hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
She knew. So I pointed and said it was her.
She saw. So I laughed at her like it showed how awful she was.
She loved. So I chased her off. Because I’m so hideous.
You stand me at my mirror to tell you what I see.
I know what you want to see so I know what to say.
If I tell the truth about what I see, you don’t listen.
You make me lie about what’s obvious to the naked eye.
I’m hideous. I am. Hideous. It does no good to say no.
On a very private wall that only she ever saw
is a mirror you will never know.
And it doesn’t lie
the way you want me to.
It shows every flaw,
every ugly scar,
every twisted knot,
every imperfection,
every grotesque wart,
hideous on hideous on hideous
to the bone, to the heart.
My poetry sometimes reflects like a mirror
of another mirror of a hall of mirrors
down to the shadows cast
by that private mirror you’ll never see.
And you don’t even hear it in my poetry.
You can’t feel me sobbing.
You can’t hear me shrieking.
You can’t see me gnawing at the edges
of the hole I dug into myself
for her and her love.
You think my poetry is nice.
It’s not.
It’s hideous.
Like I am.
Hideous. Hideous. Hideous. Hideous.
You’re still shaking your head no.
I’ll smile nice and tell them all that means you know me best
but it’s not really so.
You’re just trying to flatter me
back to bed.
If you really knew what she knew and loved,
you would know how hideous
⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀it is to lose her.




written for Daily Prompt: Shape Up or Ship Out
at the Daily Post

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7 Responses to Me, Ugly

  1. Khana says:

    Wow intense stuff 🙂

  2. Pingback: A Letter To An Indecisive Employee | The Jittery Goat

  3. I was so riveted; I couldn’t take my eyes off this. You’re a wonderful writer, and I’m so sorry if this is written from personal experience. It’s beautiful.

    • Yes, written from and to my own personal experience. My voices are the voice of the poem. I am the “her” pointed to as chased off and lost for having known the truth about myself then still daring to love myself. And I am the “you” sneered at as pretending to know myself by blinding myself to the truth for the sake of pleasing myself. Except as mentioned, that’s barely close to being the mirror to the mirror to the countless mirrors in front of the one I never show, not even here.

  4. Maggie has collaborated with me in drafting a stripped-down villanellesque version of this poem – Me, Stripped Down Ugly. Thanks, Mag.

  5. Pingback: WITHOUT YOUR LOVE | hastywords

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