He loved taking me places and was proud to call me his own
He loved my quirks, he loved the Mohawk I wore, he loved me
That day was a baby shower of a co-worker
I wore a pretty dress covered in cherries with equally red lipstick
He wore a suit and squeezed my hand
I felt beautiful
I greeted everyone warmly, thanked them for inviting us
They greeted us with equal warmth
Called me beautiful
As I turned to the kitchen to grab a drink just out of view
I overheard something that I know I wasn’t meant to:
“I didn’t know his girlfriend looked like that“
And it felt like the most precise blade stabbed into my back
Unearthing old insecurities with a surgeon’s precision,
Was it because of my dress? Was it too quirky?
The mohawk – an echo of Janelle Monae – too loud?
Was it this skin that I live in? Too brown and stark in the sea of white?
Was it… me?
I spilled some of the liquid from my cup, fumbling to grab napkins
And soak up the mess I had no intention of making