Waking — a poem

Is it strange that it should feel like waking to find that the face in the mirror has remembered how to smile?

If sleep is a kind of death than I have lived in Hades. I have been entombed in treacherous flesh and felt the weight of sand above me and the weight of nothing below.

I remember being happy as a child and running barefoot in the grass, and I remember the loss of that and believing that the pain was universal, and I thought that I was weak for finding it all too much to bare. I who was born so lucky. I who had it easiest of all

And I remember the dream, Dreamt before I learned the words for what I am. I remember my hair, shoulder length and blond. I remember being taller than I was, but not as tall as I am now, and the fact of being a girl, and the way my breasts felt exactly as they do now. And I remember waking, back to the body I would soon learn to hate.

She smiles now, though, the girl in the mirror, and her face has softened and I can hold the image of her in my head like a candle, a hand cupped around the flame to protect it from the wind.

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