The Girl with Vomit Eyes
By Oscar S. Cisneros
A snapshot, a picture: tell me what do you see?
A photographed woman smiles prettily.
She is supple and thin with an elegant sway
Like a flower stem bends when clutched midway.
The sun is to blame for the tone of her skin;
A bronze tincture to flesh that was white to begin.
And what better to match than a sandy-blonde mane?
Hair blown wild yet healthy and tame.
Most of her sweetness is found in her eyes,
Delicate orbs where innocence thrives.
This picture does show a fragile young girl;
Sweet femininity still lives in this world.
And, aye, that's the point: this woman succeeds,
Bending and fighting with the strength of the reed.
A career down the road and education in hand,
Our dainty little nymph has skills in demand.
Looks and seduction, promise and smarts:
A well-rounded girl with a good heart.
So what's wrong with this picture? What do you see?
Our still-captured nymph seems to smile nervously.
When picture turns to mirror, one before her face,
Her gorgeous colored eyes soon begin to trace
Imperfections and flaws, skinniness and fat;
Dissatisfaction with self, nothing else but that.
Seen in her reflection, this girl is not as strong
As the woman we have known who fought her way along
Through school and through life and past uncaring men.
I can feel the anger rising in my pen.
What shackles are these who dare to take their hold?
Demons whisper lies; their poison has been told:
On billboards and television, in magazines and in books;
The image of perfection is suggested by those crooks.
It's no wonder she shies away from her reflection
When the sweetest pair of eyes burn in cruel inspection.
She thinks they're like vomit, the color of bile,
Even as those orbs bring joy all the while.
More than once in her life men have gently written
About her gorgeous eyes and how she left them smitten.
That these words mean so little is really no surprise;
Praise goes unheard by the girl with vomit eyes.