by Abby Gemechu
Should I feel guilt for their bloodshed?
For the war they created at my feet,
placing my flowering image on a pedestal,
scrambling to defend me,
not realizing I was far removed
from their petty conflict.
Sometimes, I feel
like I should bear their deaths on my shoulders-
that I should hear their screams in my sleep,
my dreams scattered
with their faceless, nameless bodies strewn
across a battlefield in the middle of nowhere-
a battle created over my own profile,
which only has so much value,
so much power,
because it is beautiful.
And yet, I feel nothing,
sometimes, I wonder if I’m still beautiful-
if it is even possible for me
to be described as such a thing,
like I was before.
I’m not sure.
Can something so guilty be beautiful?
Does the blood streaked across my face
soil my flowering image?
How can I fall asleep without worrying
that their blood flows in my tears,
my eyes age with their stolen years?