Lessons from a Mirror

Snow White was nude at her wedding, she’s so white
the gown seemed to disappear when she put it on.
Put me beside her and the proximity is good
for a study of chiaroscuro, not much else.
Her name aggravates me most, as if I need to be told
what’s white and what isn’t.
Judging strictly by appearance there’s a future for me
forever at her heels, a shadow’s constant worship.
Is it fair for me to live that way, unable
to get off the ground?
Turning the tables isn’t fair unless they keep turning.
Then there’s the danger of Russian roulette
and my disadvantage: nothing falls from the sky
to name me.
I am the empty space where the tooth was, that my tongue
rushes to fill because I can’t stand vacancies.
And it’s not enough. The penis just fills another
gap. And it’s not enough.
When you look at me,
know that more than white is missing.

Thylias Moss, "Lessons from a Mirror" from Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code.  Copyright © 2016 by Thylias Moss.  Reprinted by permission of Persea Books, www.perseabooks.com.
Source: Wannabe Hoochie Mama Gallery of Realities’ Red Dress Code (Persea Books, 2016)