Sometimes, in the mirror

I practice saying “no”.
I watch my flat upper lip
fold under the other one

and I wonder what about me
felt so unavoidable.
I rehearse in the mirror
I measure the widening of my eyes

I say it again. I say it louder.
Still sometimes, my ribs get
caught on the inhale —
I force breath through my throat.

And so I push back my hair
and pull my hands off my face
and I say it again.

I say it again and again and again
until my fingers turn red against the sink.
Because I can’t remember my body
the last time it was mine.

Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash

Rebecca Crager

Rebecca Crager is a third-year creative writing student at the University of Arizona. She is the Editor-in-Chief of EMMA Literary Magazine. Originally from Lubbock, TX, Rebecca currently resides in Tucson, AZ for her degree. Rebecca has a forthcoming children's book entitled Skater Girl, and interns with two literary magazines, including Sonora Review Journal.