I have heard they whisper about me on the corner

and so I go there at the same time every night

to find out who I need to be tomorrow.


I have learned this lifestyle.


I have learned not to hate the mirror

because I built her myself,

gluing all the pieces I know together.


I have learned to believe my own worth-

how much I am

and how they see me.


But no matter how much I swear I love myself

I will always switch out the navy dress

when I see her in shorts,

I will twist my hair

to hide the color I thought I wanted,

there is some kind of comfort

in standing out by being exactly what they want me to be.


I am only known for all the words I react to

until the saltwater swells from my lungs

and they tell me

I am so good at crying myself into existence.


I am built of the bottle caps their hands ricochet off me

I process the world like looking in the mirror and

redeveloping that land with a touch that isn’t mine.


I am conjured from their thoughts of me.

Author's Notes/Comments: 

Written 8/13/17

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