Queen of the Forest


Filter, contrast, brighten, enhance

My face until you cant see my real hair color

Is it strawberry blonde or more of a honey auburn?

I’m not sure anymore either


 Primer, foundation, eyeliner, mascara

 Paint my eyes open bright, coy, wide

 To see a world filled with mirrors

 I keep dodging


  My camera app opens with a front facing lens and

  I scare myself because I think I’ve been possessed

  By a sad painting with frazzled hair looking like

  The world has gotten the best of her again


   In the summer, I work with inner city boys 

   At a sticky summer camp for 2 months

   And makeup is scarce but somehow

   My smile is wider


    In the summer, my hair 

    Gets bleached beyond repair and an Irish 

    Gircuts it off in the bathroom with 

    Dull shears and I couldn’t have beehappier


     We learn to camouflage ourselves

     Like deer living in the woods

     Doe-eyed, majestic and blending better

     Than I could ever do my eye shadow anyway


      I let the boys have full reign using

      Face paint and leaves until I become

      A queen of the forest, blending into nothing

      Except maybe my own skin


       I take a selfie after my makeover to show

       My friends who laugh and ask why I let

       Them draw on my face, which was when I realize

       Sometimes the screen can’t capture the feeling


        And sometimes the screen can’t capture the mood

        And sometimes the screen can’t capture the glow

        In my skin and my soul when I’m with people

        I love and people who draw on my face and laugh

        But still ask to be tucked in at bedtime


         Sometimes a screen isn’t what I need to make me

         Feel like me and maybe what I need is someone

         To show me why I’m me and maybe I need to throw away

         The MAC gel liner and delete the photo editor and


             Get some more face paint.

This poem is about: 
My community


Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741