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Vanity Builds

by Kalina Isoline about a year ago in sad poetry
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A dogless hour is heaven to me

Vanity Builds
Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash

Sometimes, when I read my own writing, I fear

That I am reading the words of a


Trying to sound like a


Someone who subconsciously lifts language

From writers who can think for themselves -

Women don’t cry because they find Brooklyn ugly,

Who can be the second most beautiful in the room,

Without having to leave.

Women who eat breakfast, lunch and dinner,

And don’t think too hard about it.

They eat for strength, not punishment.

Who say, “I miss you,”

Instead of “Won’t you be cold?”

Who can visualize a life past thirty,

And have never had to yield to wealth,

Instead they somehow conspire.

No, these words are my own, I tell myself. I lie

I fantasize about credibility.

In the daytime, I hallucinate about fitting inside my own body.

At night, I invent new versions of myself,

Who are brash, and blind

To the opinions of strangers on the street.

I fear they’ll stay stuck in my head forever,

The funnier, more likable characters that my vanity builds.

The building itself is a thoughtless process,

So thoughtless that my life depends on it.

I pause the movie on the screen to build myself,

The building requires my undivided attention.

Later, the better versions of me will leech

Into reality for small moments both brief and rare,

And never in front of the right people.

The fear keeps me inside.

Inside my apartment, my mind,

Inside of myself.

The neighbor knocks on the door,

He wonders about the dog.

Could he take Pepsi to the park,

Be my guest, I say -

A dogless hour is heaven to me.

sad poetry

About the author

Kalina Isoline

New York


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