“Fashion Police,” by Nick Bertelson

Aug 20th, 2015 | By | Category: Poetry

She bought a pair of New Balances
to get the old frame from high school.
She prodded her skin like an experiment,
exfoliated, put polymers in her hair,
and trusted soaps made from animals
she’d never heard of.
Her purse was a maraca of vitamins.
She ate flax. She took yoga classes,
stole catnaps, and coaxed her dog on long walks.
But one day she saw the mask of makeup
for the farce it was. Her mascara sticks
turned to crayons. She scrubbed her cheeks
and purged the paint from her nails.
She baptized herself in the bathtub.
While a pile of sweatpants burned the backyard,
her exercise ball deflated, and the Shake-Weight
shook it way out the door like a palsied dog.
It was on that day the men came,
those from the TV and magazines,
the writers of fashion blogs and self-help books.
They ripped her from the tub by her hair,
and made her kneel along a brick wall naked.
They put a gun to her head
and listened while she laughed.


Defenestration-Dapper GentlemanNick Bertelson’s other work has appeared in Hobart, The New Plains Review, Bull Magazine, The Cortland Review, Foliate Oak, The Coe Review, and elsewhere. His story “Blind Buzz” will be appearing in Split Lip‘s “Best Literary Humor 2015.”

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