Cloth-Covered Self-Consciousness

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me / hiding my self from a conscious world / a world so used to caring about the way a woman looks / a world that judges her on the shortness of her skirt / the height of her heels / the thickness of her thighs.

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me / wrapped up in cotton and wool / warm inside the self-made cocoon, shielded from the critical eyes / from boys / from myself

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me /  hurled into a never-ending procession / of make-up and matching prints and tidy, straightened hair / I swear if that boy never looks at me, I’ll die / even though secretly dig his sister.

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me / covered in clothes / covered right up / because the feeling of the fabric against my skin is more comfortable than the feeling of another person’s flesh / touching mine.

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me / being told from birth to look and act like a lady / is me / feeling compelled to leave the house looking like the perfect doll / is me / in a small packaged dropped at my door every other week.

cloth-covered self-consciousness is me / placing my self-worth in pieces of fabric / then shamed because I spend my hard-earned money on material items / they say / money can’t buy happiness / but cloth-covered self-consciousness is the only happiness I have.

Raelee Lancaster






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