In my bedroom, the closet door had a mirror,
its edges encrusted with blue lead paint.
I stood there seeing myself as various people.
Sometimes naked, more often dressed
in clothes showing who I might be.

I was safe and alone in my room with memories
and desperate for a future. The mirror’s
pictures of me were just dreams,
unrealistic at best, fantastic at worst.
A child without options can’t hope.

I pictured myself in preppy clothes
and the next day I was wearing dark sunglasses
and a lumber jacket. The elevator man was
no longer surprised by my costume changes.
He had watched me grow up and was still confused.

The closet contained old clothes and issues of
Gourmet from when she still cooked. The mirror
was an Etch-a-Sketch and if I looked hard enough
I could see a happy me, but it would quickly vanish
returning to aluminum powder ― dust to dust.

Acknowledgements include: The Ravens Perch, Mudfish 21, Pank, Work Literary Magazine, Offcourse, and The Westchester Review.