by Ansuya Deosaran
(Gainesville, FL, USA)
Of course, there couldn’t be a grander entrance they would take.
Today each freshman received their name tag.
A picture meant to endure the four years.
Together, a few of them buddied up and make their own mountain range.
Others came single and covered with white,
Just like a snow-topped mountain.
On the West, you can see that the lava has hardened into a pile of blackness.
While on the East, you can see the Smokey Acne Vulgaris Mountain Range.
The touring trail would forever remain jagged and challenging to maneuver.
TV commercials are bombard with its promotional ads with free shipping.
Vending machines supplying it make life so convenient.
Online made it only a click away.
Each source was promoted with progression and miraculous makeovers that captivated attention and exploited vulnerability.
Proactive, ironically, became step 1.
What a glare shines off that forehead.
Today, there seems to be more and more everywhere.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5……12. AHHHH!
Too many to count.
Isn’t it bad luck?
One swipe across and neurons start blasting off,
Leaving the fingertips rushed with sensation of texture.
Concealer, mineral makeup,
Is anyone really better?
Which brand should she use?
Which one hasn’t she used?
She feels pressured with an image to embody,
But confused of which image to choose.
The braces do not help.
Her confidence feels as if it’s squirming at the cliff’s edge.
These freaks of nature have gained control of part of her life.
Every morning and night she is strict with her routine.
Twice a day, she swallows a pill.
Each day she prays.
Each day she hopes.
Tomorrow is unknown for a reason.
Alas, it soon did.
The rollercoaster came to a halt.
The scars still remain, but with time they will degrade.
That phase of life seems over….
So she thought until the sequel started.
A new journey, a new group of friends,
a new chance at becoming who she’s meant to be,
all ingrained as she starts college.
It begins, this time its lust for vengeance propels its wrath.
Why now? This moment.
She thought she had purged herself of its presence.
She ponders what karma fuels the cause of her agony.
Antibiotics have somehow become immune.
The old, traditional routes seem inadequate.
Social standards linger in her world and are found rooted in the media.
She wants total control of her thoughts,
But sometimes it’s out of her grasp.
Be fierce, like Tyra.
Within months, hope looks
She fears she has grown immune to treatment.
Washes, scrubs, retinoids, birth control.
Which combination will unlock the puzzle?
And with removal of that layer of cells,
Pits and pigments remain,
Reminding her of the historic battle that occurred.
She can only wait for gradual erosion of the mountain that once was.
Finally the numbers have lowered,
But she still thinks its taboo to count.
She considers how easily she became obsessed.
How small its size yet the consumption it had upon her.
Demanding her daily attention
And forcing feelings to come forth.
With age and experience, it becomes easier to accept.
Although it has lost its priority with the dimming of its appearance,
She tries to see beyond the mountain
And stare into the beauty of the sunset.