A Porcelained Skin



A Porcelained Skin

A haggard aspect needs a tongue
as sharp as a rusty weapon, she said,
and I’m told I have both. Bragging rights.

She opened ritual jars. China cream
and porcelained bleach. Distorts the years
right off your face, she said, never mind

the old spoils of memory lost in some far
away place. Memories, pah, they return
like lost children, not diminished but

more like the opening of a warped door.
She fell a heap into her chair, all feeble
and wandering, and I never understood

why beauty needs bleach.





for Margo’s Tuesday Tryout – exploring the misperceptions of Chinese
beauty, which involves bleaching creams for a porcelain complexion.


5 thoughts on “A Porcelained Skin

  1. I remember the first time I heard that Asian women did this because they thought white skin was the epitome of beauty. I was horrified. Your poem captures the bleakness of the idea.


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