By: Achiraya Kurth
Pompeii red drains down my sink,
My fingertips stained with dye
Or the blood of those who harmed me.
I no longer recognize myself in the mirror,
The locks that once traced my back
Now barely reach past my shoulders.
I’m taking on a new identity.
“It’s the renaissance of a teenager” my mother fretted.
The rebirth of a child she herself birthed.
The seafoam and mint greens go straight into the hamper
And from the racks and spines of my closet
Hang obsidian and hickory brown.
Music blasts from my speaker,
Though it’s no longer the kind I can slow dance to.
They’re head tossers.
The kind of music I can scream along to,
In hopes of yelling over the voices in my head
Telling me who they think I should become.
The voices start off from my origin: my parents.
Then they trail off to my so-called friends,
Finally leading up to the people who cover the perimeters of every screen
And every billboard
For I must be reminded every second of every day
Of the unrealistic expectations that society expects me to uphold.
I suck my stomach in until it molds itself into an hourglass,
The concealer sitting on my countertop camouflages every insecurity
That shouldn’t even be an insecurity in the first place.
My reflection is a hoax,
For no manmade object in this world can be trusted.
I want to resist the urge to look, but I relapse again and again.
So here I stand in front of my mirror,
A stranger looking back at me.
I mail her a frown
Yet she returns the package back with a disingenuous smile.
Inside the package was a little girl who loved herself
Yet the sender was the polar opposite twin of the child.
Could she be a version of myself
That I’m finally satisfied with?
Or is the renaissance of a teenager
Just a never-ending cycle.
A mere inconvenience
On my laborious path to self-identity.
Art Piece “Lady Agnew with Mask” by Aniyah Lee