(it’s not all in my head
but even if it was
how do I get it out?)

the same people who told me I am just fine as I am
gave me lists of where a woman could have neat, tidy hair
marked this ‘unacceptable’ and that ‘disrespectful’
locked me in the house to change into something sensible
frowned when I sucked too much or sucked in too little.

and though now they are gone from my daily daring to breathe
I live in fear of their return: and my trailing tears
fill the imprint of their words, coding me with my own salt
so no, I don’t think I will ever be able
to stop fighting my own reflection.

(you weren’t supposed to matter
but among the other things I cannot fight
your scorn reigns supreme
even now.)