One pump should be enough
to cover the scars where I picked at my skin.
They used to tell me to blend in
my makeup, so no one would see
my drugstore fakery.
But I didn’t.
There was always a light orange line
where my jaw met my Anne Boleyn neck.

(I think
King Henry would have liked me
for a season.)

These days my mask is more subtle
and less.  Now let me put my face on
said my grandmother in the morning
after she’d had her coffee
and before she’d had her gin.

I am thinner than I was
at seventeen, and this should be
a victory, but seeing me
in my black pants from 2006
my mother said
I hate you
and her eyes forgot to joke.


Serafina Rogers received a doctorate in English from the University of Rochester. Her work has appeared in a number of publications, including Antiphon, About Place, and Boston Accent Lit, and her first chapbook is forthcoming from Bitterzoet Press.


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