“Validation” by A.R. Arthur

Rain raps on my door and bleak skies dampen my state;
The fragility of mental hubris’ is broken
By bitter sweet skin tantalized and fetishized in gloamings gone
And forgotten by pale sun that knows no anxiety,
But this is the ignorance of a cosmos arcane

Not the mind of the worthy mesmerized by the ideal;
The unachievable desire for sharp abs
And piercing bones that break flesh with every inhale,

This is the unflinching propaganda that renders my body
A worthless husk to be demeaned by rampant hands
And cold eyes that whisper infinite judgements.

But daybreak grows as my skin awakens
To validation’s only truth-
It never comes.

A.R. Arthur (He/him)
A.R. Arthur (formerly A.R. Salandy) is a Black mixed-race poet & writer who has spent most of his life in Kuwait jostling between the UK & America. Anthony’s work has been published over 240 times internationally. Anthony’s flash fiction was shortlisted and received an honorable mention in the 2022 The Dillydoun Flash Fiction Prize Competition. Anthony has three published chapbooks, titled The Great Northern Journey (Lazy Adventurer Publishing, 2020), Vultures (Roaring Junior Press, 2021), and Half Bred (The Poetry Question, 2022), as well as a novel, The Sands of Change (Alien Buddha Press, 2021). Anthony’s chapbook, Half Bred, was the winner of the 2021 The Poetry Question chapbook contest. Anthony is the EIC of Fahmidan Journal/Publishing & Co., review editor at Full House Literary, & poetry editor at Chestnut Review.