Kennedy Birtcher

you toss me,
after I intentionally pull down my scarf
letting the cold inflame my lips
and draw a well of flush to my cheeks
proving to you I have all the attributes that a
girl should.
I have been working to hear that You look like you belong in the snow for years.

And it’s funny because it doesn’t scratch that itch.
Not from you, here,
years after I started longing to be told.
I have prepared to be wooed
and I have made myself a candidate to be wanted
and as much as I paint myself to be a real life masterpiece
a nice review in the New York Times is just that.
Good job! Nice painting!
Let’s go look at the next.

You see a muse and you are proud to have her.
But what is actually yours are the cuts, and the bruises, and the acids, and the bleach, and god knows what else,
what carcinogens she has ingested that she will regret in twenty years.
The excess stone that has been pried from my form and struck against the ground,
the raw, ruddy potential gorged from the clefts in my side to leave me statuesque
and the time that it took to carve me.
That is what is yours.

Where does that used tooth enamel go?
Do I swallow it?
Does it reinforce my stomach lining to protect me from the words I keep
in the back of my throat tender from bile?
For when I finally ask myself, Was it worth it? Was it worth it to feel ripe and ready?
To solely feel right and ready.
And for who? And why should they be worth it? What have they done?
The long, arduous job of looking at me?


I know when my eyes are shining.
I know when my hair is falling just right accidentally on purpose.
I know when I look like how you see me in your dreams.
You don’t have to tell me because I know.
I wanted you to feel those feelings as if they belonged to you

because I live to taste that look in your eyes
as you cycle through my emotions
surrendering to a syrup death.
You, too, must love what you see
when I find that I am not malicious as I dream of being,
that I have not trapped you with honey.
So eat me up
when you gaze into my glass eyes.
See the realization that I act on your volition.
Pretend I am face value.

I prepare and I preen
and I paint and I strip it
and I make a stitch and I rip the seam
and the punchline is

I think I am doing it all for myself.

Kennedy Birtcher is a first-year studying Radio/TV/Film and Creative Writing. She enjoys looking at stuff and using words incorrectly just for the thrill of it.