Today's poem is by Carolyn Creedon

Woman, Mined

In the cosmetics department of Lord & Taylor
they'll take you right there, right out in the open,
plain as day, and snap you with an ultraviolet camera,
show you what you've done to your skin just
by living, your face exposed suddenly like what's
really going on under a lifted-up log, the real you
you are, caught and pinned like a moth,
like a shoplifter, like a woman on a table

and the lady in the crisp white smock will expertly
flick the snapshot in front of you, laid out
like a color-coded map of conquered countries,
the purples and browns places you gave up
without a care in your twenties, to late nights
and poolside deck chairs and men, all the men
you touched, the ones who marked you, whose traces
you bear, and now you can see the archaeology
of tears, their white-acid trails, and the lady
will say, sternly, Look what you did

and you will see the mess of it you made, and you
will see the times when you carelessly went to bed
with someone without the proper moisturizer, when you
suckled that man like a baby, and when you moved
with another like a girl on a rocker until you fell off
and lost him, and finally picked another, like the best-of-all
flower, and kept him, cried on him, made him sandwiches,
made him a baby, and you'll wear your face
with its amber earned, its amethyst, its intaglio tear-
etcheddiamond, and say, I am cut that way.

Copyright © 2012 Carolyn Creedon All rights reserved
from Wet
The Kent State University Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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