Night Mirrors

by: Emily Monroe

she keeps trying to write him out her.

she imagines it should be something like surgery
so she’s scavenging for a scalpel
or at least a very sharp knife
but we live in the age of politically correct
and they long ago locked up everything with a purposeful edge
so it’s like trying to catch a stuffed animal
with a crane made of chopsticks.

she tried the edge of a beer bottle
but she’s got this tendency to seize at the worst possible moments
and she’s never heard of a successful operation
performed in zig-zag lines.

she tried the tip of her pen but the tips kept breaking
spilling purple all over her past
and she couldn’t tell the difference between bruises and flowers
both have a tendency to suddenly bloom.

she tried outsourcing, but
do you know how much a decent surgeon costs these days?
when you get paid in hopelessness and half-price sweaters, even
dreams can be too expensive.

besides, even mothers are sometimes too busy to fix what’s already broken.

so she was digging through her nightmares yesterday
poking through corpses with the dull edge of a spoon
when she saw it
stretched out in the middle of the road like an empty snake skin

tattooed with footprints
burned magenta in the tropical sun
fat with can’t say no fried chicken
turned inside out with him everyday wanting
what’s inside her, over and over wanting
tongue swollen with goodbyes and promises
she always knew she couldn’t fulfill

and just as her scream bubbled
and her breath puffed cotton candy
inside this vacuum of sound so damn typical of dreams
she reached out her finger and
touched her cheek.
she climbed her finger up the mountain of her nose
jumped off the cliff of her chin into her
neck, where pink pooled like a creek
turned red with tea leaves.

she woke up, her finger at her throat,

and that day, she picked up her pen
pressed ink to page, watched its bloom
and this time,
she didn’t try to write him out of her.

this time, she started to write herself home.