the most important part of the ritual of instagram selfie taking
is cleaning the dust off the bedroom mirror.
it has gotten clouded with a thin film of dirt since its last use
like it always does.
grab a discarded towel and rub the glass,
to make sure it shines bright and clear
like the flash on your phone.

it’s funny how much harder it is to see your own reflection
the clearer the mirror is.
the sharper the camera’s result,
the duller the image of the body standing before the glass.

you don’t look as hard;
so you see less.
because what’s the use of taking a good long look at yourself
unless it’s for someone else?

why even bother trying to make your skin feel
like a blanket wrapped around your shoulders
to protect you from the winter cold
if it will not also cover those who praise the fine cloth?
who count every stitch?

why not dust yourself off for others
to hold your material up to the shimmering light
run their hands through its gossamer quality
and wait for them to say
‘good enough – i’ll take it’

because in every instance,
you are the towel
and the dust
and the camera’s flash.
you are the digits and the vibrations and every new review.

but you are not the glass
and never the body.

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