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Issue 5: Black + White

Who Am I?

Issue 5: Black + White

Who Am I?

January 12, 2020

From the pages of Issue 5: Black + White

By Lynne Schmidt | @lynn_e_schmidt


I have stared in mirrors

in lake reflections,

in department store windows

hoping to see what you see.

Am I the girl wearing these jeans?


But what then, about the scar on my arm—

The one I cut out with a razor blade

because my apartment lost heat

and the pipes burst

and it turned out my sister was right,

I am useless.

I am a child.

I will never grow up.


My therapist told me I should have gotten stitches,

should have gotten professional help,

should have stopped drinking,

but it's the only thing I retained from childhood.

Not the toys, fake make-up, stuffed animals,

but how drinks solve problems.


And so I roll over in bed,

hoping your skin is more like

moss on the roots of a tree,

hoping to god that you can fill me,

heal me,

make me into the girl everyone else sees.


But you don't.

So I find another

and another after that.

Like eating Tic Tacs that refuse to freshen my breath.


Because the only time I recognize my face,

is when I see the reflection in a broken picture frame,

where the photograph smiles back.

Smiling so hard,

because in small moments

happiness comes easier.


There are twenty six seconds a day

where depression doesn't settle into bones.

And someone managed to take a picture.

And the floor broke the frame.

A flawless inside/perfect,

Outside/defective story.


But you are not moss.

And I am not a tree.

So when you put your clothes back on,

I'm still looking for traces of me.

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