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Hey Insta girl,
You’re in love.
Your beautiful,
Like your life,
Like your house,
Like your car,
Like your husband,
Like your children,
Like your photos.

Your easy perfection,
Your confident happiness,
Your life of free adventure,
Are my unbecoming misery.
Did you know that?
Did you know I choke on
Your flawless two dimensions?

My reality claws at my insides.
That selfie you posted
Of your husband and yourself,
Made my eyes tear.
It made me feel defeated
And crushed under the weight
Of your refined life.

My fat, wrinkled, pimpled,
stretch-marked canvas,
Makes me want to rip
And tear at myself.
I want to wear your skin,
Feel his arms around me.
How would that white smile feel
Stretched across my face?
Would his warmth heat
My frozen heart?
Would it resuscitate me?
Would I feel something
Besides insignificance?

I wonder.

My life’s constant bondage,
Of crawling and clawing,
Of sleepless nights working
Just to make ends meet,
Of taking the first offer
In fear of being alone forever,
Of dragging along
This endless road to nowhere.
And, then…
Your easy gifts and grace
Poison my perception.

My husband, beaten down
By missed opportunities
And settling for the unremarkable,
Makes me loathe my reflection
Of mediocrity and defeat.
My home’s hollow lifelessness,
Dark corners and ache,
Are ever apparent and highlighted
When I see you.
The Ideal.

I wonder if you know.
I wonder if you realize.
I wonder if you’d care.

Your every retouched selfie,
Perfect lighting and makeup,
Your handsome doting husband
Drown me in despair.
My husband’s receding hairline,
His roundness and stubble,
His rough hands across my skin
Feel scorching, yet frigid,
Like resistance and surrender,
Like screaming and silence.
All at once.
What if he were him
And I were you?
I wish I could wear that filter
As lenses over my eyes forever.

Maybe it’s superficial,
Maybe there’s a director’s cut,
Deleted scenes and bloopers,
Maybe your ugliness
Cannot be photographed,
But I don’t care.

These dead-end thoughts
Don’t seem irrational
To my sadness,
My flatlining morality,
My flicking finger
Or blurred vision.
I’d take it, even the ugliness.
I’d set fire to this monotony
If I could have it,
Could capture it on my feed,
Could live and breath
With certainty and admiration.
I’d take it all
To escape this 3D reality.

You will go on
Taking more selfies,
More opportunities,
More pieces of me.
And I will struggle
To break out,
But remain starving,
Oblivious, worthless,
And unfaithful to myself
And this life.

I am not happy,
I am not beautiful,
I am not living.

I
Am
Not
You.

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For some this piece may seem over the top, but believe me, it is a stark reality. People are suffering in stifling silence, while we all heedlessly post photos and details of our beautiful lives online. For what? So that we can measure our self worth in likes, hearts and stars? It isn’t worth it. These posts that diminish our lives to a few smiles and selfies may make us feel better about our own personal setbacks (which aren’t photographed, of course), but they are attracting more negative vibes than positive ones. We can do the math, why is it that 1000 people viewed a pic, but only 10 liked it? We must be very careful, the Evil Eye is real and it can take you from a smiling selfie to misery, Astaghfirullah. Mental health is a growing issue in our communities, this isn’t helping. Please be careful, if you must, use this media for good and to spread good without becoming a burden on another human being’s soul.

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