I said that mirrors were the worst things for
little girls
just because they would stand there naked
and mark progress
and pinch at pink tits calculatingly,
but after a certain point
it became clear
that of course everything came in leaps and bounds
at that age
and illusory borders were pointless
and that there was nothing we could do.

In the tones of someone who thinks
that anyone worthy of elegance is from england
she performed a strident musical number
for an audience with flat wine-flavored mouths.
Precarious sparkle shoes drawing eyes,
these burlesque appearances were applauded
even before
she had learned
the practical advantages of a little good showmanship.

During day-time regulations
as a militant grammarian
she sneered at run-on sentences
and scribbled them with pencil condescension,
and never faltered, told herself that she would break hearts
and that she would be beautiful.
With a wild sort of enthusiasm
that left the rest of them clutched with breathless laughter
she launched herself at the sun
and began practically attacking the problem of time.

Margaret Wack has had her work previously published in Eclectica, Liminality, and Strange Horizons, among others. More can be found at https://margaretwack.com/.