I have been oppressed by myself

A mind too weak

Too insecure to think for itself

Unprotected from the 5,000 subliminal ads that are beaten into my imagination

As if the idea of perfection was mine to begin with

They pop up with the persistence of a Wall Street marquee

Buy buy buy

Sell sell sell

We would sell each other downriver for a taste of the limelight

Can you say you haven’t sold yourself for less?

I see you reaching over the fence

Plucking a plump lime from the vine of your bloated neighbor

The juice of a freshly squeezed lime is so bittersweet

Through the fizzle of tonic water

We all fall to pieces and settle at the depths.

Everyone just wants to be noticed

We all want something from one another

You will step on my throat to get closer to that just ripe dangling fruit

Cutting each other down in veiled compliments

He tells me that I look better naked than he imagined

For a moment I am seen

The words repeat themselves in my ears without my permission

Run on the treadmill

You look great naked

Validation

Dead lifts and endless repetitive movements

Validation

Running a race, with no beginning, and no end

Validation

Everyone competition

You look good in pictures

He says

But in person you are even prettier

I smile

Californication

Like a trained dog

My existence

For a moment

Has simulated meaning

A disciplined reaction to words that we have both equally been pavloved into believing is affection

A drop in the hat

I am malleable in your palms

The words reverberate ongoing

Then it dawns on me

This is somehow familiar

The tart in my throat

The pucker of my lips

The smack of dejavu

I recognize the oppression in you too

Small boy parading inside a mans body

Veiled in self appointed importance

I see you shaking

Finger pointing in fear

Assigning my value based on what only he knows

Constraints are predictive

Controllable

Attractive

Too ignorant to define his own vision of beauty.

He regurgitates that which I have heard over and over again

So easily I accept

This definition of worth

Categorized by a face

Nothing more