Esteban Rodriguez Mimesis

I didn't know precision,

or the grace curves demanded,

or what steadiness should feel like

when I'd apply my mother's lipstick,

then her rouge, mascara,

then the eye liner that veered

inside the pink limbo of my eyelids,

stung, seared, singed beyond

any one synonym, but not strong enough

to not grab the pencil in the bag,

shade in each eyebrow, and,

like my mother, whose attempt

at symmetry was at best halfhearted,

leave my first take as is: thick,

uneven, as clumpy as birthday cake

left unguarded, and as comfortable,

in retrospect, as when I once wore

my girlfriend's dress, squeezed

into its silky fabric, and swayed,

the closer I shuffled to the mirror,

in such a way that made me move

beyond parody, enter, if only briefly,

a state where I studied my chest,

shoulders, clavicles, and where

I imagined myself as not myself,

but as an image I didn’t know,

a figure unearthing a flesh

shaped by another world.

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