just as moses parted the sea

by Cate P., 17

so too do i part my hair in the morning.
i watched a speech once where a man told us
if we wanted to make a difference in the world,
we should start by making our beds. i place pillows
religiously, stacked in rows, straight like teeth
or medals or gravestones. i pray
at the foot of my bed—
let this brush be a staff in my hand, miraculous
and let my bed be made perfectly. let my mascara
sweep across my eyelashes in sheets,
my cheeks be pillows under lashings of blush,
my bronze foundation build me into something
freshly made. i cast my thoughts into the red sea and exchange them
for beauty, and i clasp my hands on top of my bedsheets and pray
that i will change the world.

Cary, North Carolina