As soon as he calls me pretty, the other parts of me fade away –
And I sit there in a rigid, obediently pretty way.
I wish that instead of calling me Pretty, and declaring that my name,
He’d call me “nothing”, because they’re very well the same.
Now if he calls me pretty, an anxiety stirs within.
It is the beginning of the end of an authentic interaction from either end.
The instant he calls me pretty, a tiara is placed on my head;
One miscalculated sway to the right or to the left and my reign will fall dead.
Compliments were not meant to be burdens, I know,
yet somehow being called pretty prompts me to put on a particular show.
And he feels he’s done me a favor, bequeathing me this throne,
as if he were the first
to adorn me with the cloak called “pretty”
the most insidious curse.