The bathroom cabinet held a mirror
that held back razorblades,
smokers' tooth polish, creams
which had become a mystery
to themselves. When I climbed
on the toilet at three years old
I knew I was not inside the cabinet
even though there I was –
the full collection of my features
as I knew them to be –
mouth, two eyes, nose.
But I was searching for more to me
and thought it could be behind the glass.
Balancing even further on tiptoes,
so sure of myself, the sharp corner
my only handle –
I found the metal weight
of razor much heavier
than I could have guessed.
When I sliced open my chin
the blood paused
then set a new red free.
Ruth Taaffe is from Manchester, UK, and lives in Singapore, where she teaches English. She has completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing with Lancaster University. Some of her poems have been published in The Poetry Village, Acumen and Poetry Birmingham.