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M.P Armstrong: Pageant Queen

Pageant Queen

pageant queen wants you to know

that it's a scholarship contest, to blind you with swarovski crystals so you don't notice that the application

requires a tan instead of a transcript.

pageant queen wants to bury you in the tulle and pleats until you believe

that she's whole inside her ball gown,

even though you've already watched

the spotlight skim her scars.

pageant queen refuses to believe that she paints her face with sexism,

refuses to believe that she curls her hair

with an ableist wand, refuses to believe

that her crown is glittering with prejudice--

refuses to call herself a title with "beauty"

at the beginning, but laments that she's

not pretty enough to win the biggest prize.

M.P. Armstrong is a student at Kent State University studying English and United States history. A native of Warren, Ohio, they enjoy traveling, board games, and brightly colored blazers. Work published or forthcoming in Neon Mariposa Magazine, Riggwelter, Thimble Literary Magazine, and others. Find them online @mpawrites and at

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