the girl who lives inside the mirror

When she stands naked in the bathroom, she closes her eyes. Focus. The floor buzzes under her feet and insider her ears. Focus. When she closes her eyes, she cannot see herself.

When she looks in the mirror, splintered cherries sprout on her skin like needlepoints. Her eyebrows grow unevenly because she pulls them out by fingertip when she’s anxious. Focus.

When she looks down, she sees her stomach like a Thanksgiving dinner plate. Her thighs are two thick white triangles, her calves packets of hotel jelly. And she keeps forgetting to put a Band-Aid over the sores on her left ankle. They are a green and cellophane telescope into her flesh.

“If you’re fat, then what am I?” I don’t know.

When she stands in the shower, she revolves like a door to the subway station. But she is immobile; a hay in the needlestack. She wonders why she feels this way tonight. (Luckily, she never remembers to look at herself in the showerhead until it’s too late.)

When she wakes up, so does the girl living inside the mirror. “Focus.”

She leans over the sink and wonders if anyone can tell.

When she was at work, the computer turned black and someone was standing on the other side of the monitor. Who is that? It took her too long.

When she goes to sleep, she cannot see her string cheese fingers or cranberry crater face.

When she steps on the scale, she knows exactly what she will see.

Ninety-nine. Focus.


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