There was a wiser woman before me,
I can see her in my eyes.
Her eyes stare back at me with an unfamiliar gaze
for no more than a split second as I scrutinize my reflection.
The wiser woman looks at me quizzically
and asks me wordlessly what I’m looking for. What do I think will change?
The wiser woman scolds me
on the mornings when I do not leave my bed.
She pokes my back when I lie on my side
and my stomach when I roll to my back.
She tugs the covers off my feet
and the pillow from under my head
and I can still hear her voice when I cover my ears.
The wiser woman mocks me,
I know her voice from mine.
I hear her scoff as I say into the phone,
I love you,
and the wiser woman whispers mockingly back to me,
I love you,
and as the wiser woman laughs at me,
I feel the slightest of smiles tug at my lips.
The wiser woman knows better than me,
she never told me this; rather, I found it on my own.
The wiser woman covers my ears
when I open them to the wrong people.
She grabs my face in her hands and turns it to hers,
looking at me with her all-too-familiar eyes
as I lock mine with the wrong ones.
The wiser woman points her finger for my gaze to follow,
showing me colors I cannot see.
Today, she showed me new shades of red,
both darker and brighter than I could ever have imagined.
I push away the wiser woman, but she grows louder each day
and I could swear her voice sounds more and more like mine.