When will I stop
seeing tired eyes
after waking up
next to mirrors?

Why do I call
the cracks on my face
fault lines?

How does the earth
hold so much weight,
so much anxiousness?

When will I stop
messing with my hair?

When will I break free
from vanity’s repetition:

Look for natural light. Don’t sit with shadows. Suck in your stomach when someone takes a full-bodied picture. Excessive mirrors. Purchase an outfit, return the outfit after trying it on at home. Selfies on the way to the poetry show. Selfies in the car. Adjust brightness. Convince yourself you looked better when you were a kid. Post that photo on social media. Obsessively check for likes. Wipe the grease from your huge forehead. Wipe the grease from your nose. Wipe the photo from your mind. Take another, take another, take another …

How will I not want
to take a photo
of my daughter every day?

How will I not
see perfection
in her complexion –
smooth, brown skin tone?

What if someone
says she looks like me?

How will she not be beautiful?

How did I learn
to be OK with
toxic thought?

How do I not
get angry
if someone looks at her
the way I sometimes
look at myself?