Written by Farida Amr. Edited by Eden Gringart and Isabella Romine.
Artwork by Özge Ahretlikoglu.
Her hands on the handle,
The metal, cold beneath her fingertips.
She promised herself she wouldn’t come back here
And yet here she is, once again.
The heavy wood swings,
A grand reveal.
Hundreds of Me neatly lined up on hangers,
Each labelled, each recognized.
There’s Smart with a shy laugh and a backpack full of notebooks.
Her fingers brush against Artsy, all ripped jeans and a paint-splattered face.
She averts her eyes, embarrassed by Goth’s black lipstick and ironic t-shirts.
She considers Sexy’s alluring eyes and flirty smile, then changes her mind.
She thinks of him. His hands, his lips, his laugh.
Which Me would he like?
She looks down at herself, at the Me she has on.
That one doesn’t seem quite right either.
She sheds Mystery, a snakeskin suit discarded on the tiles.
Leaving her, bones and sinew and soul.
She is none of these girls, yet she is all of these girls.
After all, “I” is just a letter.
The mirror reflects the eyes of a stranger.
Who is this girl, not Smart or Artsy, not Mystery or Sexy or any other name?
Decision made, she puts Mystery up on a hanger.
The heavy wood swings.
Empty handed, she takes this amalgam of heart and soul,
She takes every Me in that closet
And she takes none at all.
Armour gone, I walk right out the door.