By Roshni Riar, Staff Writer
I’ve become a stranger to myself
again. In the quiet of the morning,
I brush my teeth without the lights
on, concentrate hard on the grime that
collects around the tap. I examine my grey
sludge buildup and how it spreads a little further
every day. I breathe heavy against
the weight that creeps into my lungs.
Two feet clad in steel-toed
boots dance the tango on my chest
like they’re stomping on the grave
of an ex-lover. Squeezing,
pressing. I’ve been avoiding
my own gaze, that despondent stare stuck
inside the mirror stretching out in front of me.
I don’t hate my reflection like I used to,
but I still think she’s sick. She twists,
contorts, splashes toothpaste on the mirror
and never cleans it up. I rinse my mouth, spit
and leave her behind me. Don’t look back.
I hide the tremor in my jaw, the desperate
bobbing of my throat. Can’t give myself away,
not before I’ve forgotten what the curve of
my mouth twisted downwards looks like. Not
until it’s tucked away behind the memory
of my first-grade combination-lock sequence.
I don’t want to remember, at least not yet.