Megan Bealer “Lillies” “Dress Code” “Jump the Gun”

Lillies

by Megan Bealer

He said my fingertips were like lilies,

so pure and pale.

He wanted to get them wet.

I hated the idea of becoming a garden,

because gardens look beautiful,

but they only become that way

after they’re dug at, and ripped apart,

their insides rearranged,

and foreign bodies taught to grow within them.

They don’t get beautiful without being hurt;

and he wanted to make me beautiful.

At first, I loved the attention of being

viewed like a bouquet.

Then he wanted to touch me, and my petals

grew stained with each grope.

To him, I was a glamorous face atop a simple spine,

a bud atop a stem, a plaything to be contorted

into whatever accented his lapel.

I grew weak, but I did not know why.

He tried to replant me between his legs;

My roots whimpered, and he growled

when I refused.

Eventually he decided he had no green thumb,

and that I had become colorless.

But I am not a fucking flower.

And I will rise with the next season.

Dress Code

Button up, slut.

Your humanity’s on the line.

It’s calling to say

it’s drowning in oppression.

Treat me like

a bag of skin and bone

just because a little skin’s shown.

Find more ways to leash me,

use my own anatomy

against me.

Go ahead, I already hate it

because you taught me to hate it.

It’s hard enough to breathe

when your power’s coiled

’round my throat

and my aspirations

are thrown in the gutter–

the victim of my genitalia.

So go ahead, violate me,

collar me, zip me up,

idolize me for my sex,

refute me for my words.

I’ve listened too long

and we’ve been screaming

in silence.

Can you not hear us?

Your ignorance will not

stifle me.

I’ll just scream louder.

Jump the Gun

My temple bites the barrel

of a cold, steely gun

while my teeth trap my tongue

and make it squeal.

The pressure pounds my skull,

thumps around my brain stem,

and shuttles blotchy thoughts to the patch

of skin being tattooed by

the machine.

I’m imagining what I’ll look like

in pieces, on the floor,

dip-dyed red and soaked through

like a festering, pus-filled wound.

Will they take my childhood flower crown

and fit it snug around my head?

(Will there be a whole head left

to decorate?)

My hand shakes, rocking the metal

back and forth between the top of my cheekbone

and the beginning of my headbone,

and I can smell the rotting flavors of temptation

calling to my ears.

My index finger jumps, almost makes it,

then drops.

I shake. I watch my reflection. I dare her.

I squeeze down, close my eyes.

BANG.

The smoke clears.

Shattered glass lies on the ground.

I stare at the window.

I’m going to have to fix that.

About The Author

Megan Bealer is the author of many poems, prose pieces, and novels. She has written for both high school and college magazines. Currently, she’s studying English and Liberal Arts at Montgomery County Community College and plans to keep writing and publishing.

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