Surface Self

She stands unevenly as if poised to run,

or topple,

or drop into a hole opening up under her by sheer wish power,

and her eyes have pieces of broken sky in them.

You noticed her and she noticed you noticing,

but never acknowledged it,

because that may mean a conversation,

and no one wants that on a public street where they are trying to fade,

trying to shrink,

trying to dissolve into the background.

What is her best side you may ask?

The one that can’t be seen she would answer.

If she was a tree and you counted her rings

there would be broken ones that marked off certain years,

the ones that forceshaped her into the finished product

she presents to the world.

The ones that persuaded her that this time was the last,

and that the blood staining her hands would wash off,

and that skin deep was the only beauty worth having…

(don’t question it may offend)

So she wrapped her mind in soft and crumpled linen

and stored it away.

I don’t really need it anymore….

she convinced her surface self

The hands that once held a paintbrush now tremble

when the air stirs around them,

and the cracks appearing in her laugh are covered with varnish.

(the shine will distract you see)

Keeping it together has become her mantra,

a song running through her head and hummed in the bathroom

while she counts the tiles

and wonders,

where a magic door would take her,

and if she would dare to go…


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