Mirror Talk

[From the editors]


By Sharon Wong

Cricket trills its song,
Two a.m. scream of dark night,
Morning talks of flight.


You are naked in front of the lone mirror in your apartment, a cheap white-framed glass that leans drunk against the span of wall between your front door and the cardboard box you’ve been using as a table, the oil of last night’s spaghetti softening its surface. The chill of the floorboards scrapes at your feet to run up your legs, along your calves, through the smooth, fleshy expanse of inner thigh, into your stomach and peaking at your nipples, erect and stark atop the hint of breasts. Shaved ends of hair prickle under armpits, at groin, and you shudder, loose skin and fat shaking – the chicken defrosting on your kitchen counter no longer sounds as appetising for dinner.


Blood leaves trail in time,
Night waits under stormy sky,
Memories drift, lost.


Torso too long, legs too short, hips too wide, breasts too small. You want to cut here, engorge there, maybe add a little extra to this, your fingers reaching down, tapping at soft belly, body twisting to reach back and pull at that detestable layer of fat on inner thigh. What would you look like dissected? Your legs would look a lot like a cut of ham at the butchers, you imagine, a ring of oily white rimming pink muscle.

Tea cold by morning,
Incense veiled in stormy rain,
Trailing scar on cheek.

You step closer to the mirror – after all, eyes are the window to the soul, but are souls really beautiful, or perhaps you have even a subtle hint of a Grecian nose (whatever that is), or just maybe your lips are closer to Angelina Jolie’s than you’ve previously noticed – but your breath steams over glass until all you can see reflected back at you are the frayed ends of your unwashed hair, and a single scar slashed over your cheek.

Spider pearls on silk,
Fingertip trail of rose lips,
Moss on crumbling vows.