Staring contest

By Miriam Chester


reflecting

means looking at my reflection in the

pool of my life

i don’t like the person looking

back at me


reflecting

means looking into her eyes

she smiles

she laughs

she waves hello


reflecting

i stare into her eyes

i see what they can’t


i see the tears

i see the pain

the suffocating weight upon her chest

the silent monsters

the isolation

the addiction

the hate


i see all the things she

didn’t want to admit

i see all the things she

never said

never did

did say

did do


i see the people she

hurt

i see the one person she hurt

the most

i see her


i see her

and she sees me

what is it that she sees?


someone stronger?

braver?

better?

trying


she is trying

i am trying


it’s a competition that

neither of us are winning


tears cloud up her

face

i wipe them

away


yes

i am trying


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