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February 27, 2018

Staring back at me

is a woman I no longer recognize.

We share the same deep set brown eyes,

hers filled with unbridled hope,

while mine hold a weariness with life

that she has yet to experience.

Her face, lit with a smile so bright dimples pop in her healthy, glowing cheeks,

my face portrays a somberness similar to what one would see at a funeral,

no teeth bared,

instead a distinctive clench of my jaw.

The hard grinding of my teeth

causes my cheeks to become sunken, hallowed into my face.

Our noses,

surprisingly identical, with a smattering of freckles across its bridge.

Identical except for the slight bend to the top of mine.

My face embraces a light covering of sweat as if using it as

a shield,

a second layer of skin,

while hers glows with youth, beauty, and endless possibilities.

My eyes

and hers

both drift downward

onto the curve of our necks,

so very different,

but alike.

I knew what I would see on mine.

Dark rosettes,

blue, purple, and some even an almost yellow shade

guided into the distinctive shape of fingers.

The only imperfection gracing the line of her neck

was a mole,

one that on me

would blend into the deep color painted across my collarbone.

I could see myself.

The younger me,

now a stranger


the older me

with a questioning, saddening gaze.

“What happened,”

she would ask,

and I would have no good answer.

In my mind I would see,


a dark, menacing head hovering over mine,

hurting me,

scaring me,

touching my soul so deeply

that all similarities with the girl I used to be

would disappear

making my only response,

“I thought it was love.”


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