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26170426386_6d97d05513_oAlone with the mirror,
You stare into your eyes;
You look better than you thought;
Then you suddenly don’t;
You sigh.

Alone with the mirror,
You shine your teeth and stick out your tongue,
Run through your hair and push up your boobs;
You try a few dances you saw on TV,
But you kind of suck.

Alone with the mirror,
You wish the eye bags weren’t there—
Your face would have been just perfect.
So you pout in a way that hides them;
Then you take selfies.

Alone with the mirror,
You practice what you’ll say tonight:
“You’re great and I like you but not just like that.”
With a smile you say, “Can we still be friends?”
You know this sounds terrible so you practice five other ways to say it.

Alone with the mirror,
You realize you are who you are,
And there’s not much you can do
But embrace it.

 

 

**************

Post image by Dianne Lacourciere via Flickr.

About the Author:

ChijiokeChijioke Nnamani is a Nigerian poet and storyteller residing in Lagos. His work has been featured in Lucid Lemons and Lifegiva, and is forthcoming in The Kalahari Review.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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