The Conflicts of Compliment


The girl in the bathroom smiled at me in the mirror

Telling me how much she loved my dress

Where is it from?

she asked.

I paused.

Forever 21.

She was surprised.

Impressed even.

What a deal.

I thanked her

but I didn’t feel my usual sense of pride

The pride of a bargain hunter

Living for the thrill of price tags slashed in thick marker.


I felt a sense of shame

for the cheap labor that made my cheap dress

Thank you Campus Ecology.

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