Dear Makeup Wipes

Sun, 01/07/2018 - 20:30 -- JKalai

Dear makeup wipes,

You cracked the warm beige – no medium – foundation

And chipped at it

With your chipping fingernails,

Whispered in my ear that you loved the toxic red armies

Camping on my face and waiting in the trenches,

Angry, white, and armed (just like all Western battles begin),

Stopping the fight between my pores and proactive

With an anticlimactic swipe.

As you wiped my sharp-knife wings

Of my eyes,

Just as an aside

You said, “you look more whole already,”

But all I felt was empty.


Dear makeup wipes,

You forced my hand until my hands

No longer held a brush or a beauty blender,

Because I. am. an. artist.

The only brushes I should hold are the ones dipped

In paint and ink

Not the ones poised to wipe away battles fought

Long before we met

Scars you claim you’d love but you’ve never truly seen.

Scars which tell my body they’ve won

And snicker in their shriveled combat boots

And camouflage when someone asks

If something is wrong.


Dear makeup wipes,

You were wrong when you thought my hot face

Meant I was blushing

And when you said it was nice how you can tell

Now that my face isn’t the same as the pink dress

On my tattered Barbie doll.

I was not blushing.

This is not the moment in the movies

Where the romantic interest strips away the pride

Of the unsuspecting heroine.

He tears them down to build them back up again.



This is the moment where my cheeks are hot

Because the redness matches the fire

In my words,

Matches the redness of my knuckles as I grip the

Only thing you haven’t touched,

And you only haven’t touched it because you can’t.

I grip my makeup bag.


Dear makeup wipes,

I know it’s hard to understand why I’m mad.

You say I love you, even though you can stand

To lose a few pounds and I stand

Because once again I am reminded

At the end of the day, I only have myself

And my matte black lipstick.

I know it’s hard to understand why I’m mad,

Because I say this fight isn’t the battle between loving myself

In armor and hating myself without it,

But I only smile when I can’t see

The duffel bags under my eyes.

I know it’s hard to understand why I am mad,

But you don’t need to understand.

All you need to understand that we’re through.

You’ll see me only when the battle is won.



Jordan Kalai

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