Make Me Beautiful
He wanted to make me beautiful. He made my eyes first. That’s how I could see him make the rest.
The poor God with the bloodshot eyes, kneeling before an empty pedestal. There was a vast shallow pan on the floor beside him, like a squashed bathtub, and remains of halfway abandoned creations littered the floor near its rim. His straw colored hair was my horizon for the first few hours. He smiled down at me and kept working. Slowly, the world gained clarity. Images sharpened an borders defined themselves as he shaped and prodded my eyes into place, coming close enough to kiss me while he carved my irises. Every breath he took washed over my face, and I heard the softly whispered promises on each of them, and smiled unseen. He wanted to make me beautiful.
He molded my lips, my nose, my jaw. He lingered for an unwarranted amount of time over my neck and my breasts, seeking to give permanence to some imagined perfection. I had no doubt of his skill- the world I saw was proof enough. Nymphs laughed at me from across the room, fawns lurked in the shadows, scared of the light, and from where I saw, gracefully perched on my plinth, I could see them all. He sang as he worked, my lonely God, working his dexterous fingers over my calves, drawing lines of life all the way to my feet. He would flit between my fingers and my hair, sculpting one to be delicate, the other to be heavy, to fall and cover me from the eyes of the world. So my hair fell to my waist- even obscured my vision of him for a little bit- but he fixed it immediately. He wanted to see me. He wanted me to see.
Ever so often, he’d walk to the depression in the floor and bring me some more clay. He made a seat next to me, covered my nakedness with flowers and leaves, and left enough place for him to sit by me, as I lived and breathed only where he could see. And he never stopped making me. Sometimes, he’d remake my lips. Sometimes, he’d rework my feet, and I’d watch his sunny hair gleam in the morning light while he broke off my toes, one by one, and make me new ones. For the most part, I was beautiful enough for him, and he was happy with me.
Till the night he came in, and sat next to me, and wept. He put his head on my shoulder and cried like he was the only man left alive, like his heart had seen unspeakable things and they knew no other language but tears. And he howled with impotent rage, screaming and lashing out at my inadequate efforts to soothe him. He picked up a trowel and hacked at my face, gouging out my cheeks, my forehead, methodically destroying every feature I had, while I gaped soundlessly at him.
And in the morning he woke up in a rubble of existence, unable to watch him, but I felt him. Slowly he got up, penitent, and fetched more clay, to make me again.
I didn’t mind. He’d make me beautiful.