torrin a. greathouse
after Kristin Ryan
Ablution with Violent Intrusive Thoughts
spectrophobia is the morbid fear of mirrors. somehow different than eisoptrophobia—the fear of one’s own reflection—though i’m not sure how. a journal of psychology states that the difference is that spectrophobia is found in those traumatized by an event where they believe they have seen an apparition. still i’m not sure i understand the difference. my eye is a deep stain in my faceimagine a razor blade slitting it like a cloud over Dali’s moonblue in the way a broken pen spoils a shirt. in the right light, the soft yellow light of morning, dirty mirror almost resembles a portrait under waterwith your hands bound behind your back the thrash of your drowning is quieter than a running bathtub’s waterand i remember the names of every river i’ve ever imagined drowning in. it has taken me so long to stand in front of a mirror without flinching. i pick up a pair of scissorsto cut your hair or your wristand put them back in the drawer. run the water until steam rises like broken question marks. glide a razor over my cheekif you pressed deep enough you could peel all these imperfections awaytrying to hide the coarse hair breaking through my skin. i stare into the mirror and try to remember that it is the light that bends my face, the mirror that creates the distortionyour fist can split a mirror into 1000 hungry knives, they are singing your name. will you answer them back? we are always singingnot the other way around.
torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer trans woman & cripple-punk from Southern California. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Black Napkin Press. Their work is published/forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry, Redivider, BOAAT, Waxwing, The Offing, Tinderbox, & Frontier. She is the author of two chapbooks, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods, 2017) & boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018). When they are not writing, their hobbies include pursuing a bachelors degree, awkwardly drinking coffee at parties, & trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.