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torrin a. greathouse

Post-Traumatic Amnesia
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.