i wake up
and immediately walk to the mirror.
tiptoeing, hoping they don't hear me.
i shouldn't be up so early.

i can already hear their harsh words
singing along to my own
in my head.
fix this. fix that.

it used to be a fun
cat and mouse game.
me darting around their bullets
just in time to miss them.

but now my ears pierce
as the shots of cruel words
get closer and closer.
to my dignity.

i used to not hear them.
but now they are loud as ever.
i might just lose it
if i do not dodge the next bullet.

-r.w // @raeannewilliams