This Woman

Els Van Laethem

Internally, I stagger away from the mirror as the sight of my dissenting being lacerates me anew. Literally, though, I remain, hazel visage perusing all that comprises me but is mostly tallying up the absence of what does not. Even survival feels like defeat as my fingers waver over buoyant ringlets. The burgundy crescents beneath my heavy lashes broadcast betrayal like a siren. A cold index finger traipses over the V of my collar bone; the bones, ghostly pallor crisscrossing of verdant life pumping beneath; none of it seems to belong to me. 

The amalgamation of wrong takes on a tangible fortitude. I suspect that even the mirror senses the awfulness of it all. I think maybe I’ll cry about it. Again. But I don’t. Instead I wait this woman out, giving her the intake and exhale of my breath as a feeble consolation prize. Though me she most certainly is not, I decide to like her.