Makeup

by Maydha Dhanuka

my room smells like lilacs
and I smell like lilacs—
lilacs and coconut, to be exact.

I painted myself in scents
and lay on my bed
to be inviting for you,
to be picture-perfect pretty.

it didn’t work as well as I thought—
no matter how doll-like I look on the outside,
my mind got the better of me,
my mouth ruined whatever success I had.

my brain,
dark, rotting, chaos,
lush with fear,
spilled out,
leaking my secret thoughts.

and it all goes south
as you see who I really am.

tomorrow,
I’ll wake up,
paint myself again,
try again,

I’ll smell like lilacs and coconut,
and dark chocolate, maybe,
(I want to be good enough to eat)

and maybe then, I can fool you again.

Michele Dale