Betsy Fogelman Tighe

Beauty's Scar

I was waiting on the corner, using the drugstore glass for company,
straightening my shirt, examining my ragged cuticles and the whites
of my eyes, when Beauty finally arrived, her silver Jaguar purring.
She was drumming on the steering wheel with long peach nails, shook
her head from out the automatic window straight at my unacceptable
shape. “How you gonna get a guy with that gut?” she hissed. Beauty’s
profile had been carved on a cameo. She’d gained only fifteen pounds
per pregnancy, and she married for money. Beauty never broke
a sweat and she definitely never farted. A lady with a sharp tongue,
though only average wit. She could never view me uncritically—
my yellow teeth and uncorrected nose, my poor posture, unpainted toes.
Beauty couldn’t bear that she had borne me, she was waiting
for nature to unfold a finished flower, she’d been betting on the odds
of maturation. But here I was, knock- kneed and acne covered. Beauty
commanded, “Get in. At least in here I can hide you. We’ll drive
you direct to your final destination” and she took off without
a clear sense of direction, not bothering to look once at me, humming
along to Sinatra and waiting for the phone to ring. In the back
of the car were cartons of eggs. Hers, ready for the coming sperm. Inside
I could spy tiny curls, dark eyes, straight fingers and slim ankles.
I was tired of being sorry I couldn’t satisfy, sorry I had accepted
another appointment. “Beauty,” I cried, “can’t you credit?
It’s skin deep, it’s history, it’s a vast, cold pool of poetry inside me.”

Author Portrait

Betsy Fogelman Tighe has published widely in small literary magazines, including Rattle, TriQuarterly 74, for which she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and Verseweavers (Number 14, Fall 2015) for which she was awarded third prize in the New Poets and first prize in the Dueling Judges categories, respectively, by the Oregon Poetry Association. In 2016, she was a finalist for the Snake Nation Press Violet Reed Haas book prize. She apprenticed at American Poetry Review during her college years, and has studied with many great poets. She currently works as a teacher-librarian in green Portland, Oregon.