Poetry of Stephanie Bennett Henry, Uncategorized

Glass Smashed

I had to smash my own face against the mirror, rub my nose across the sharp edges of flaws that would not stop screaming, and get a close up view of the proof in the pain. Smeared myself red across the reflection in the broken glass that wasn’t lying, tasted truth until my lips puckered blue, swallowed down the salt from the center of wounds never healed, and spit on each one to make it sting. And it was the sting that made it real, showing the pain turned inside out, outside in. Sometimes you have to twist the handle of your own knife, really dig it into your back until you hit bone, and keep going with the swing of the plunge to be sure you gut the secrets hiding in the hands of your skeletons. You have to bend into the fold, unclench the filth of yourself, release the demons you hold like a binge that keeps the empty full, and purge it all out like a cleansing graded by your own eyes. Take the dark out of those blind spots, dig out the light stolen from your heart by the glass that told lies from your own mind, and shine it in your own eyes again like a fucking spotlight switched on to become an epiphany. And now it’s all clear, focus wiped clean like a new start, unobstructed by thoughts from a broken surface that wanted to shine picture perfect but never could without the reflection of someone else. Well, you have to learn the hard way that your light doesn’t shine in someone else’s eyes, same as it can’t reflect anyone in a good light if their heart is dark. Your light is yours. It is you spotlighting your reflection, not to showcase a shadow someone else is standing in, but to shine through the pieces of who you are. If you look for your light in someone else’s eyes, you will always be standing in the dark. You will only see the broken reflection of a heart that isn’t yours to pick up and search for truth in the pieces. You’ll never find it and I promise, you will cut yourself. Your light… it’s only in your own eyes. I learned that lesson the hard way, through the glass smashed, lips puckered blue, and a broken heart that never could belong to you.

-Stephanie Bennett-Henry


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