Plane Mirror

I ask myself why I

Search and besmirch with my finger

The unreal glass of a

Plane, inane, inhumane

Mirror. Was this my idea?

For you’re the critic of

The intangible surface of a

Virtual (Impermeable)

Image with its emotions that scrimmage

Across the toss of

Features of an imperfect creature that

Form the Impressionist storm of my

Face. A disgrace to symmetry; the

Reflection that needs your protection

From other imaginary wrongs

Which you and they and I bitch about

When we see them

Through the rough-hewed retinas that

Conceive a perceived facet of a

Being that has, in truly seeing,

Yet to be set

‘Right’ by an equally trite

Visual cortex. A self-induced hex to

Enable philautia to stay stable

Beyond infancy.

 

A.N. This piece is meant to reflect on the scrutiny that so many of us put ourselves under when we look in the mirror. We want what we see to be pleasing to others or even just ourselves but we are already tainted by society expectations of what ‘pleasing is’.

 

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Panic

One minute,

You’re fine.

 

The next,

Your hands feel tingly, buzzing.

You’re overheating.

Your heart is sprinting a marathon.

Your legs feel weak.

As though your youth has been zapped and

Replaced with the senility of a gelatinous pensioner.

You can’t breathe

You can’t talk

Your calves give way

You collapse in hysterics

But lack the oxygen

To even express your pain.

 

A.N. This poem is about my first panic attack, and the last from this collection. At the time, I had no idea what was going on. I wasn’t anxious about any particular thing, but all that had been stressing me to do with school, extra-curricular activities and my personal health must have been building up and up until it all got too much. I remember having to sit down at every chance as I struggled to make it home, then collapsing on the floor in tears in front of my family, who took me to A&E. It is written in second person in order to allow readers to imagine experiencing the changes for themselves, or to create empathy in those who have gone through something similar.