What’s In the Mirror
It’s morning again and I’m looking in the mirror.
Natural curls of my hair cling to each other in fluffy waves
on top and tight, smooth spirals underneath.
I flip it forward, in front of my shoulders,
check the length,
and then flip back again
admiring how it looks better
after just waking up.
I stare a little too long
and try to squash the never ending argument
about why I can’t feel the same admiration
for the rest of me –
unsuccessfully and my mind wanders
the brown, unwashed streets of
“Something’s not quite right”.
I’m not sick. I don’t have a headache
or upset stomach or cramps
or issue with any specific body part.
I don’t have a problem
one could name and describe –
nothing that is sharp or dull or throbbing
or popping or pounding.
Could it be my heart?
Could it be too heavy?
Or my mind wound up tight
or some external thing
like the sky being too big
or the possibility of a world without a sky –
some existence where the words blue
and rain and clouds and wind
are met with the furrowed brow
What if it’s not about me, but a different girl?
The one I used to know
who finally died of of the cancers
that crept, like time, through her body
and sank jagged teeth into her bones
leaving behind two babies
who will only remember their mom
as a person fighting
for her life for them.
They won’t know the 20-something,
strawberry blonde girl, full of energy
who hung out at Billy Frogs on Fridays
after work drinking cheap drinks,
laughing at stupid things
and splitting nachos.
Or what if it’s that other girl I barely know
who was raped last week, on a date
and wrote a poem about it
and posted it on Twitter
who I have also laughed with
over giving the finger to the moon.
Who I now want to reach out to,
and stand next to in solidarity
or maybe just hug
because fuck you world
and fuck you breast cancer.
Or what if it’s that other girl, I know
so well because I gave birth to her
and she’s getting ready to fly
and the sky is impossibly vast
and could collapse in on itself in any moment
and leave her drowning in a dirty brown sea
with nothing blue to hang on to.
My mind flinches and stops
on that cold, damp street.
I can’t stop time
or un-melt the polar ice caps.
I can’t save anything or anyone
from the certain doom that happens naturally
when human beings are involved
because they are inherently selfish
and sometimes only think about things
like how their hair looks
when they first wake up.