Cloth-Covered Self-Consciousness

cloth-covered self-consciousness
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
wrapped up in cotton and wool
warm inside the self-made cocoon
shielded from critical eyes

cloth-covered self-consciousness
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
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
being told from birth to look to act
like a lady

cloth-covered self-consciousness
placing my self-worth in pieces of fabric
shamed because I spend my money
on material items they say that
money can’t buy happiness

but cloth-covered self-consciousness
is the only happiness I have

Raelee Lancaster






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