In the arcade dressing room, high school girls
apply fake eyelashes and forbidden lipstick
at a public vanity. Some curl their hair and brush
out their wigs. In the changing stalls, they remove
duties and rent bright costumes for the hour.
Outside, girls congregate at photo
booths, taking pictures and editing the results--
even with preparation, there are still
improvements to be made: eyes that are too
small, blemishes to hide. A friend complains
that her cheeks are too fat.
Once they are done, the girls retreat
to the vanities and wash their faces
empty. They change out of heroes
and return to the skins of civilians:
grey and not easily noticed.
Meg Eden's work has been published in various magazines, including Rattle, Drunken Boat, Poet Lore, and Gargoyle. Her poem "Rumiko" won the 2015 Ian MacMillan award for poetry, and she has four poetry chapbooks in print. She teaches at the University of Maryland. Check out her work at: www.megedenbooks.com