have you considered that maybe i am not pleasant?
maybe i wear lipstick so that
you will see my pretty pink mouth
wrapping around a coffee cup lid
and be distracted enough not to notice
that i am intelligent and powerful;
maybe i draw my brows into high arches
so you will look at my unimpressed skepticism
and overlook my spiteful glare
as a trick of my silly, girlish routine.
maybe i wear my heels so high and thin
so that i grasp your attention with the sway of my hips
as i listen to the click-clack-click against the floor
and know that if you should try to overpower me
i walk on sharpened knives.
maybe when i laugh at your worthless jokes
i am really baring my fangs
waiting patiently for the day
that i sink them into your neck.
i am not made of porcelain pleasantries;
you will find that these things are my armor
to keep you at a distance
so you do not step on me and shatter
my fragile control.
i am not a husk — i am not wilting.
i am turning my head
so that the fire blazing through my eyes
does not catch on the accelerant of your sweaty palms
and burn your bones to dust.
i am not your pretty girl;
i am a fury, a faerie, a phoenix —
a forest of werewolves and wendigos
that will carve out your chest
so that the next time i paint my pretty pink lips
i will taste the copper tang of your dying breaths.