10.11.2014

A Kaleidoscope, Unfolding

There she was, staring.
Uneven eyeliner leaking, messy lipstick
traces smudged with careless removal,
hair curled asymmetric, and coffee-stained ruffles
crawling up her throat.
The girl in the mirror kept her feet
planted wide, for balance in 2-inch heels.
The light bent weirdly
around her shoulders, dreamlike.
She barely exists.

(Click, click—)

The triangles around her eyelids
danced, navy islands on the streaky
white of her face.
Her spongy nose fell off, blood-red,
and she stuck it back on.
She smiled and smiled:
in the warped picture, one painted corner
stretched all the way to her temple.

(—click, click—)

She'd changed to a plain tshirt and
old jeans, and her eyebags and beating heart
were beginning to show.
The girl looked down at her grimy hands,
charcoaled fingers cold and twitching
for an identical set to hold.
Ashamed, she jammed them in her pockets
to keep them still.

(—click—)

Her blurry features twisted themselves
unrecognizable, tongue bawling on fire
and ugly jaw set hideous,
while she clawed rags around herself
to hide the way her bones
had lost their skin.
The girl's eyes burned hatred dry,
and the ashes of her heart were pouring
out her open mouth, choking
as she yelled
endlessly, enraged.
She was screaming for murder.

(Is this it?
Me, at last?
But the light still
shimmers wrong—

click.)

There.
My reflection suddenly
flared so bright, so beautiful, I put
my face in my hands and wept.