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Maia Frieser

Photo by  Logan Ripley  on  Unsplash

Photo by Logan Ripley on Unsplash

My mirror could have lied
but it chose not to.
I asked it sweetly, slowly
to change for me
to change me
into something free and vital,
pale and careless, 
white as snow and unburdened song.

I kept staring at the woman in front of me,
dark eyes and hair
twisted and curled together
signaling other and flawed and Different
offset, upsetting,
yellow stars falling on snowy fields
history wrapped in a dark pupil’s blink.

Heat will help, applied directly,
over and over and
smoothing and fixing,
covering hints of Saturday candles
smells of bread and chanted whispers,
wrapped behind a cover of Same and Self and Belong,
inflection and accent swallowed down
depths of languages fading and forgotten.

I looked at you in November, after the world fell
and asked you the question,
can I pass?
Am I covered?
am I safe and normal and complete
showing nothing but pink skin and straight hair?
Covered yes yet always feeling twisted crosses passing over me
like lamb’s blood painted on a doorframe, long ago.

Maia Jacey Frieser is a writer and a PhD student in Behavioral Genetics at the University of Colorado Boulder. She studied Anthropology and Public Health before finding herself in the genetics of substance abuse. Originally from the wilds of Manhattan, Maia has lived in Montreal and Michigan before breaking her streak of M-names by moving to Colorado.