Person by Claire "Champagne" Champommier

Person

by Claire "Champagne" Champommier


I brush my teeth until I’m
foaming at the mouth, clean again

for a while. The phone rings until it becomes

just another animal sound, hungry
for another voice to fill the space

I stare out the window,
not really knowing
what to look at,

as if there were a right answer. Opening

the closet door, the full length mirror
makes a sliver of the room look bigger. I avoid myself

inside of it, only because
even if I need it, I don’t like nagging. I hear myself

outside of myself, saying nothing at all.

I wear a watch
to show nobody that at any moment
I might need to know the time.

I call up friends to discover
what mood I’m in.

I pop a vitamin D tablet.
Self care. I put makeup on

just to go to the kitchen. The days aren’t days so much as

one room where someone occasionally turns on
and off

the light. I’ve been flatlining for weeks, and that type of
consistency is just what I want to prove
to absolutely nobody right now. I hide it under my laundry

on the floor. I flash my can-do attitude instead. I am

barely here. I hear myself
from the mirror, backstage left somewhere,
reminding me that I live

in parentheses. I don’t want to read my history at face value
right now. I take myself out
for my usual walk. I wish

I could walk this day away forever, but my feet only allow my world
a 7 mile radius. It’s a beautiful day. I shower
to feel the touch of someone warm. It’s almost

romantic. I check off another box.

Back in the room, I write
“leg” on my leg in pen, just to know it

has a name. I look for mine in the mirror.
I stare. I don’t see
a person anymore.

I wonder if I’m too good at hiding, and if,
like trouble,
love will come and find me again. I’ve never felt

more aware as a child, and like a woman,
all at once in my life before.

I cry again,
unceremoniously. The fish will flit through the water,

always looking for a new side to his bowl.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Claire Champommier owes $5.20 to her local library. She is a bit new to writing, but she’s having a lot of fun. She has studied writing at Lewis & Clark College, where her professor, Mary Szybist, has encouraged her to keep doing so. She’s waving to her friends in Portland and Rochester, sending them a big hug each. Her work has also appeared in Otis Nebula.

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