I am what I am, or rather what I cease to be.
That is Beauty.
I am the beast, mongrel, the Pug-faced bitch
Who sniffs the bin for degraded meat,
Too ugly for tip-bits.
Beauty is the red ribbon win,
The prize Setter, Golden Retriever
With hair smooth and sleek,
Admirers queue to pet her.
She is my neighbour and distant stranger.

My looking glass sees
Reflection a pale ghost,
Purple tattoos lick under eyes,
Blood-shot and strained, I spy.
Dab on concealer
“Wake me up”,
I whisper, whisper.

Brush bronzer,
Place plush powder
To polish cheekbones to a high shine,
Anaemia hidden, skin now divine.

The tools work their magic:
Paste, paste,
Mascara curls and thickens lashes,
Paste, paste,
Tweezers tease and please brows,
Paste, paste,
Erase the spots, blemishes and disasters.

The mask I wear, this new face
Washed-up with Fairy Liquid;
The bubbles taste sickly and sour
From my obsession, hour after hour:
Mirror, check, mirror, check,
Repeat.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall…
Do you see me the fairest or beautiful?

The rules of the game
Her game,
One I play and cannot win:
No meat, gelatine, nor fish,
Vegetarian.
No dairy, honey, or eggs neither,
Vegan.
Don’t forget whey powder or beeswax,
Those pesky animal products,
They are evil and poison.

I am eager to please and so
Discard fruit and natural sugar.
Then replace rice, potato, pasta and bread
With black coffee and hellish dread.
Give up veg for lent and
Chew chewing gum instead for instant,
Sugar-free sweet smiles.
Keep the oath you swore,
And Beauty commands, thou shalt eat no more.

Nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep.
Fat, fat, fat, Beauty hisses
You are unworthy, a puzzle incomplete.
She tortures and I listen.

I shrink walnut-sized,
Hornets sting and singe hot acid
Into my nave.
I cannot move, unable to think,
I am afraid.
But remain still faithful to Beauty,
Whose nickname changes to Ana;
We are informal acquaintances now,
I; the prisoner and blind lover
To the new ruler:
God save the Queen!

I am what I am; the stray pup,
Tail chaser,
Who spins in circles,
Lap after lap,
Running far, but arriving nowhere,
Whilst beauty combs her hair,
She is my trainer.
Greedily, I hunger forth.

I would rather be what I cease to be,
What others call Beauty.
But I know her true name,
Her ghoulish nature
Who trims flesh and gnaws bones
My bones.
I see the stemmed spine and gun hips
Of my skeleton flower.

Beauty lies within, but shines out.
She chews at my breast,
Tearing, uncaring
And spits me onto the plate.
There are no scraps or leftovers,
Only sunken eye-sockets
Hooding famished eyes.