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BellaOnline Literary Review
Lady Butterfly by Joann Vitali


Mass and Mirrors

Angel Zapata

It’s not all about losing weight,
repetitive diets and exercise:
sweat, fat, stink, scream, ache.
It’s the process of the elliptical;
scarred staircase steps;
the distance we cross by mirror.
Firecracker feet beat day and night,
spill black powder flesh into piles.
Clothes get smaller, looser,
drop like pocket change, cheap coin
rings mist mirrors with anonymity.
It takes one finger to spell
expectations on the glass,
one second to watch it fade.
Take the brain,
its permanent weight; the blood,
its iron progression— transformation
can occur on both sides of the mirror.
Run the bath before bed:
strip, steam, heat, soak, sweat.
The water clear, clean; a reflection
broken by toe echoes.
Rise and towel off— once again,
we climb the scale; between numbers
the needle can’t make up its mind.
We become a war of bones and blurs,
everything holding us up.