Stings of Insects

Applying the colours to her face
bright, varied,
this was an experiment, like finding
the perfect additive
the pigments and the glitter
like the stings of insects
in pigments,
in glitters.

To be grown up, to be
probing in the mirror,
the fresh blood
of red lipstick,
she was an archaeologist digging
but sometimes, she struck
with impatient fists,
the hidden depths
uncovered like ancient bones.

Afterwards, she would pour
glosses and shadows,
into the cracks, eking out
like spider webs,
but the beauty
always seeped through,

Her reflection in windows
purple and red,
black and blue,
she painted others,
butterflies trapped in a bell,
wings crushed into pigment,
glosses and shadows burned
her skin, etched
her into art.

Her beauty
carved by her soul,
still and staring,
silent and solemn,
a Medusa
pieces the fractured mirror
to fix it,
with steady hands.

Lauren Hyunseo Cho is a feminist poet who envisions inclusivity for all marginalised communities, as well as legitimization of intersectional minorities. 

Featured image credit: Tonda Tran/Pixabay; Editing: LiveWire/Tanya Jha