Snow falls. Today: Wake up. Outside the glass the field is white, sprung with down. Turn to see myself in the glass but see Imogen instead. Her wrinkles etched onto me; scars inked into me. Ache but Imogen doesn’t budge, flails tight against my pores. Yell Get out get out get out from behind the glass. Today: I want to Get out get out get out where Imogen can’t be seen. (Things I carry: warmth ran between jawline, bedsheet heat welled into heart.) Where I won’t be seen as Imogen, where I can’t see myself as Imogen. Get out get out get out! Beyond the glass is a blinding blizzard, in that blizzard is a field. Get up: Imogen brushes my teeth. I brush my teeth. Rinse; twice. (Wool: Imogen is allergic to wool; I dress in wool.) Mother sees me see Imogen in glass, scowls at my foggy disproportion. Mother pours me breakfast porridge, tries to unfrown my visage. But I, I don’t touch the porridge, no, instead I pin Imogen down in the glass. Tell her I don’t want to wear her anymore. Tell her I want to peel myself like an orange, her skin like my rind. Mother yells at Imogen, NO, she yells at Me! Get Out! Late for School! Get sick without sweater! (Mother-heated words pelted at the spine; made to wear as parka.) But Get Out Get Out Get Out Get Out Today! Getting out to that field of snow! Imogen, she blinds away against the cold. The cold is where I finally breathe. Today I threaten, strangling Imogen with my own hair, teeth grazing her own skin. Break her glass. Sniff its sour edge. (Gloves gloved, feet shoed, no, booted!) Yesterday, I hid in her closet. A symmetrical skeleton to her bones. But Today I’ll Get Out! Get Out & Away, Away to See Imogen where she can’t be Seen, Away into that blizzard field! Get! Out Out! Out Get-ting! Out To-day Out Today—
—Today, it snows. Today, sitting on the welcome mat I boot my feet, boot Imogen’s feet. Today, sitting on the leaving mat I have decided to Leave. Check the thermostat, once. Twice. Thrice. I check it until my face is limp against plaster walls. Check stove. Check doors, windows (Don’t look for myself in the glass!) Coat on, hair out from under the scarf, my breath already hazed like the blizzard. I’m Leaving Today. Leaving the chrysalis where I’ve homed, I’m leaving all my glassy shards behind. Gonna Leave Imogen behind to go to that snowy field, gonna leave her for the cold. Getting Out! I know what I’ll do, yes, I will Leave her behind. I’m Leaving to where I’ll be seen without Imogen. Leaving this land, no, this nation of Imogen. Leaving the Imogen nation. Leaving the Imagination. Get out! I’m Leaving! Today, I’m Leaving Imogen behind! I Leave Imogen Behind! I Leave what is Imagined Behind.
Crystal Peng is a high school student living in Vancouver, Canada. Her work has been awarded first prize in the Jessamy Stursberg Poetry Prize and has appeared in Poetry Pause and Sine Theta Magazine.