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Vol. 2: 

On Identity

A Mantra for Depersonalization

poem by Soph Bee

when I was young, I assumed that mirrors
worked the same way in the light
as they did in the dark.
I thought that even when I couldn’t see
my own reflection,
it was still there –
that a shadow me was held
safely behind the glass.
my elementary school teacher
gently disproved my theory,
and when I asked
where do I go when the light goes?
she told me you don’t go anywhere,
honey, even if you can’t see yourself.
last night, I spent hours reading
news stories that I didn’t want to read
until every headline spelled out USED.
I looked down at my hands
and suddenly they weren’t mine anymore.

I stared at my fingers
until they turned into snakes that eyed
the untouched skin on my wrists
and hissed don’t hold back.
the mirror across from my bed
has stood strongly for months now
despite the cracks that slither through it,
and I tried to remember that
as my already distorted image
kaleidoscoped within the frame.
to keep myself from piercing a memory
on the shards of nighttime,
I reached for my fearful inner child
in her sunless hiding place
and reminded us that
I am here
even when I cannot see the light.
I am here
even when the light cannot see me.
I am here
even when I cannot see myself.

Anchor 1

Soph Bee is a queer feminist poet and survivor. At any given moment, she is probably listening to Fiona Apple, eating her body weight in sushi, and/or preaching the importance of feeling your feelings. She should definitely be writing right now but she’s too tired.

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