[an exercise in] deconstruction

by epi

stare, in front of a mirror, legs crossed,
muscles stretching past the point of comfort–
a necessary distraction (to remember what
exists behind the image of this strange dark girl:
a pulsing heart, the push and pull of oxygen, synapses).

stare. stare

at each familiar feature. stare.
them into words like:
almond, bulbous, tight, long, large,
brown. kissed by sun. scarred by adolescent
acne. stare.


muscles. veins pushing against skin, stomach
slightly distended (how then, thin?). knees,
permanent reminders of days and nights spent
learning to ride a bike, because 12 was too old
for training wheels, and never mind the terror.

breathe. repeat.

lips shaping words that look like:
love. beauty. wonder. broken.
who are you?

breathe. stare. memorize

until the whole becomes wholly unfamiliar
(just features glued and sewn together,
which one could be narrowed down to
define this girl? which one is her alone?)