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By Alicia Khoo

Who determines the
standard of beauty?
(What we allow to exist
in advertisements and movies
determines the depth of a
plastic surgeon’s pocket)
I want to grow old, gracefully:
wrinkles and stretch marks
pointing to the number of years lived,
the songs I sang,
all the times I ever laughed
and wept;
and the words that come out
of my toothless mouth
magnifying the scars of my heart
every time I tried to love someone
but they wouldn’t let me
because they felt so unworthy
of anyone’s time,
that they would never put on those
dancing shoes and read my lips.
We walk on opposite directions
on either side of the street;
one to the scalpel and botox,
the other to tear down billboards
of filthy lies;
Come with me and we shall reclaim
what once was ours.

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