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Her hipbones were like daggers as she slid into the mirror. Cool tile flashed across her ribs. Models, made of silk and satin and bone, stalked past her down the Milan runway. Her hollow eyes thirsted after their movements, their skeletal grace. They couldn’t see her shade flickering in a thin rail across the narrow stage, shadowing their every step, tainting the breathy fabric that cocooned their concave figures. Her spine shivered against the glass’s surface as she folded her arms, a shield of sharp edges. I’m here, she whispered. I exist in your reflections. But they ignored her, their indifferent eyes looking through her, around her, past her.

One glance. A flicker of recognition. Her muscles froze and she felt seven-years-old again, drowning in her grandmother’s pool, clawing for air, kicking, pulling, fighting to stay alive. To just breathe. She felt the surface above her, the way water broke just beyond her head. Remembered how she had looked up and the world was magnified in crystal, alive. No digital numbers ticking on scales, no baggy layers covering her collarbones, muffling the feel of air. No feeling of being see-through, a mirror’s ghost. Water caressed her skin, bubbling over her body, a sheet of custom material hugging her curves. She could see the world but was safe from eyes that weighed her in silken threads. Just sky and trees and birds and hot summer air. So close she could taste it.

She inhaled and shattered, beautiful at last.


Salena Casha’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Foundling Review, The Medulla Review, With Painted Words, Ethereal Tales, Muscadine Lines, and others. She is addicted to chocolate chips and rewriting the future.

© 2011, Salena Casha

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