Self portrait

I wonder what you see, when you look at me.

If I close my eyes and look into my mirror…

I see a person, tall and slender

Carrying the might of all the heavens and hells behind them

Like a cape, flitting in the wind

Their hair flows, shoulder length

Glinting silver in the light

You can tell it is from the stressors of life

Not Elvin beauty

Their eyes strike emerald and steel

Deep in hues that cut like diamonds

The shoulders are all at once

Tight with sinew

Tender with bruises

From carrying pasts long meant to be untethered

Their chest transparent

You can see their heart beat


In its glass house

Teasing, see me, but do not touch

A belly showing mirth and merriment

Once dwelled here

Arms made of shields and love

To protect others from the rigors of life

Even if only for 10 seconds

Legs crafted from the genes of beasts

Apex predators and their prey alike

Give form to these legs

Meant for running away from problems

Tucked behind one leg, hidden in the folds of the cape

There is another

A young person

Bleeding from a wound in their chest

An old wound not yet healed

Though they pick at the scabs

And paint their face with blood

I see three people staring back at me in the mirror

The hyper-vigilant guardian

Protecting the wounded child

Who has not learned to speak

And myself, the puppeteer

Painting masks and faces and moods

Claiming, “I know my wounds, so I am healed”

While the words land like a morning star

On those that would love me


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