A poem by Swarnim
I Have No Mirror At Home
I have no mirror at home.
But I do. Listen, listen.
I never wished for so many mirrors to spring out one
un/fortunate afternoon when I violated the colors of
my face — my otherwise etiolated, gendered,
obscene face — now I only see mirrors,
some so tiny I ballroom dance
with my pretense — my right hand’s fingernails dig
into my left shoulder
(half-an-inch deep, I imagine and smile),
face tilts, feet move to assert their
arches — just to squeeze in and see
myself shrink, see myself with smaller limbs and
see myself slowly disappear,
and some so big
they accommodate me whole and a revolution,
and some so beautiful I want to violate the contours
of my face — I want to kill the boy
and that would require me to be an
overly ambitious witch.
But won’t they come witch-hunting for me in the
bluebottle-d, lavender-ed meadows?
All the mirrors come to eat my lie.
If I kill the boy and the witch-hunting kills me,
what would remain of my conquest, of me?
All the mirrors are women.
Or maybe they are not. Maybe I just think they are.
I have grown weary of the bodily lexicon I aspirated
into my lungs, gossamer-by-gossamer.
Not weary. Not just weary. Afraid. Very afraid.
As if a huge spider would come to feast on my breaths.
As if they are redolent of something that’s dead,
something that’s rotting without a hearty burial.
Looks like there is a mirror at my home,
an ugly mirror, and a woman — a caged woman,
a womanly woman, a manly woman,
a woman who is a child of these women,
an invisible woman, and sometimes,
an indoctrinated woman — and the mirror is so ugly
that when I look into it
I want to disappear, I want to disappear;
that, or turn my skin into a grand organza ribbon.
Swarnim is a 23 y/o non-binary trans woman and a computer science undergrad. Her pieces move between womanhood, trans-ness, and things that can use these two as a metaphor in one way or the other. Her works have previously appeared in Inklette, Esthesia Mag, Wingword Anthology, among others.