Mirrors for Women

10. I watch girls on TV with flags on their shoulders
And gold on their necks
I stand at the mirror
I wish my stomach had a six-pack

13. I let go and land with a sneaker squeak on polished wood
Calloused hands smell like metal
I win but the boys feel small and laugh cow
I stand at the mirror pulling my belly in
I wish my ribs showed

24. My shoes wobble
Lost in a forest of sweaty backs
I’m hungry and empty
My body flickers with the bass
I see parts of myself between bottles of liquor lining the wall
I wish I was someone else

31. I watch milk trickle down my skin
Like tiny rivers
In a rented mirror on a rented wall
Pooling where soft skin sags into my thighs
But I am kinder now
I know what a body is for, who a body is for
My daughter will not look in her mirror and make wishes

34. I rub cream under each eye
Listening to a woman say blood teeth pinkies
Then move aside for two old men
With patience and a lid to cover [our] unseemly rage
I turn from the mirror
There was never anything wrong
With me
But this mirror is broken

Sarah Beck is a former English teacher living in Austin, Texas. She is currently writing and illustrating subversive children’s books. Read other articles by Sarah.