TWI Poetry : I have no mirror at home

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
thinner lips,

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. 

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