the girl in the frame
Late nights, red wine (I drank it hoping to be someone else)
Tall boy, sweet words (I felt his tongue against my lips and hoped he didn’t taste the insecurity)
Small house, big crowd (I wished someone would see me the way I saw myself)
(I didn’t want to go home because it was late and I’d face my mother, sitting under the kitchen light, looking afraid to find something on me she didn’t want to see)
(Sometimes I dream that the space between my body and the world has no shape and I bleed into everything, like a girl with no outlines)
On the kitchen wall of my parents’ house
is a drawing I did when I was ten years old.
The girl is sliced in half;
on one side, she smiles,
on the other, she frowns.
(How can I merge the two women inside of me? One who is daring and one who is submissive? One who is fearless and one who is afraid?)
I ask my mother,
why do you keep that drawing
of the broken girl up on the wall?
And she looks at me, alarmed, and says,
why in the world you would think the girl is broken?