November 19, 2019

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?