By Reese Brown
I got ready for work today. Though, by the time I was done I realized I couldn’t recognize whoever stared back in the mirror. For some reason it was this bright, sunny morning, the kind with a brisk, cold breeze lingering throughout the transition to spring, I fully gathered that I’d never be who everyone sees me as or wants me to be. My cramping hands and tired eyes lay as secrets, whispers on the wind, conspiracies of the battle of identity that rages on within me. Bouncing knees cause spiritual quakes, yet I then call to my friend, the devil’s advocate named anxiety, who informs everyone that I am exhausted: plain and simple. We are all exhausted: simple and plain. This fatigue’s left to confusion — not actualization. I dream of scars below the under breast that I trace with calloused fingers not from writing, but from carpentry or mechanics. I imagine myself, a real charmer, who gives the smuggest of smirks to the girl across the table, playing a game of chess that I am sure to win. Ambition serves as a hunger unmet, a vision unseen, a voice unheard, and this girlish reflection stares owlishly, a stranger in my home. The hunger bites back with blunt teeth and sharp claws. These realizations are not kind nor easy — I am a man. I awaken from my stupor and prepare for my nine to five.