self-portrait with blue eyes

the first time i realized
this body / this people / this one
was unlike others
i could fit my age
on one hand,
classmate grasping the skin
by his eyes, pulling taut,
forcing squint, i have my dad’s eyes
but not his toughness. wished
to pull myself apart in two,
set one half free,
drown the other.
me, halved in tears,
him, can’t figure out why,
glaring at me with
blue bulging eyes.
later i will insert
these eyes
into a self-portrait
and my teacher
will scowl.
at five, wanting so badly
to take these eyes
off his face,
if not to keep for myself
to look at, to try on
then to keep him
from staring any longer.
we don’t talk.

 

Claire Shang  •  New York, New York

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