The Looking Glass
I’m always stopping short, butting against the glass. I know if I made a fist, a proper fist, and swing, I could shatter it. But every time, I only end up with my fingers leaving prints and streaks as I watch, afraid to be seen. It’s only my careful reflection that needs to be known.
Mirrors are one-sided.
Don’t think too deeply; it’s not that serious. Try to relax, but not too much. Just be polite and “nice,” and people will like you. Smile like you were taught, and don’t say anything too loudly. Don’t breathe so loud. Don’t let anyone but the walls know you’re here.
Mirrors are cold.
White rabbits come along often. They lead you astray. Sometimes it’s fun; other times, it burns your lungs and tastes like ash. Just keep smiling. Keep laughing and reading everything you can get your hands on. Tuck your thoughts into blank pages and library books. Don’t let anyone see them.
Mirrors don’t make a sound.
When nobody’s looking, it’s easier to stop. Stop smiling. Stop huddling. Stop waiting, shoulders hunched to your ears, for the next act. Stop hiding that you feel like a child stumbling around in their mother’s heels, too big and too small. Keep beating on the glass, waiting to see if cracks will appear. Just sit down and lean against the wall you made. Acknowledge the Cheshire Cat that says you have to choose a path and the Caterpiller that keeps asking what you want. I don’t know what I want. I’ve never known what I want. So keep pretending you know what you’re doing.
Mirrors don’t have desires.
Maybe I can break it. Maybe I can join the tea party. Maybe I can make that fist and shatter everything until it’s all shiny piles of stars on the ground. I think I’ll have to destroy the image, expose the nasty, hateful sides of me. Maybe I’m mad. Maybe I’m brave. Maybe I’ve lost my head. Maybe I just want to be held. Maybe I just want to be told it’s okay. That I am who I am. Not only what I reflect, but the sides no one sees. I’m not just your reflection.