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  • Writer's pictureCecilia Innis

This is How Girls Die

This is how girls die

staring into funhouse mirrors

where scraps of body tease

themselves together.

The weight is hungry

and growing on her,

but she has nothing to lose.

Down the sink

(there she goes),

dizzy face reflecting off of drains and faucets

and slivers of glass, everywhere —

this phone screen

that storefront display

her eyes.

She can run but she can’t hide.

Sit in a vat of fire

until it melts off of you.

The feeling, I mean,

of knowing she’s

not making it to the ceremony

with the red ribbon and the finish line

and the massive cartoon scissors.

I look at the little girl in me

the one with the missing teeth and marbles for eyes

and wish she would never see,

The self, broken across a sheet of kitchen foil

The face, ballooning on the back of a spoon.

Sometimes she escapes,

climbs the dusty ladder rungs

to her apartment rooftop,

holds the sky in her palms,

and waits for the sun

to grow and swell over the shining

city skyline.

Sometimes she finds her way home

outside the refracting space

In the breath of a beach,

where the pull of the tide towards a black sea,

the darkness before dawn,

marks the promise

of daybreak.

Edited by: Ava Emilione

Cover Photo Credit: Jasmine LeCount-McClanahan

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