what are you supposed to do

when you look into the mirror

and the person staring back isn’t you?


the first thing, i suppose,

would be to check that it is a real mirror

do you know what you are looking at?


the second thing, i think,

would be to check another mirror

who are you there?


the instructions i have stop after number two

they don’t tell me what to do if i’m not in the second mirror

or the third or fourth or fifth

all my mirrors show a different person

and i’m no longer sure which one is me



background noise

in the dark i hated the silence

i couldn’t stand the weight of it

closing in on me

the semi-physical feeling pressing around me

i spent all night praying for it to leave


in the day i miss it

i can’t stand the noises

i find myself wishing for them to leave so

i can go back to feeling like

i’m the only person who

has ever been alive




i have never understood why

people always talk about break ups with a lover

and never the splitting apart of friends


i know

i’ve never really let myself fall in love

so i can’t say how that feels

but i have carelessly lost myself to friends

thinking that friendship lasts


it was my mistake

to think that they would stay

as if people don’t fall apart

from no longer fitting together

             it’s only said about lovers

             why would it be true for friends too?


i can’t help giving too much of myself to people

while also giving them nothing

would i want to stop

if i knew how?




i have been obsessed with drowning lately

drowning in emotions

drowning in silence

drowning in nothingness


i think it’s the overwhelming part

surrounded by so much of one thing that

it suffocates you

in a way you didn’t think it could


maybe drowning and suffocating are opposite things

one you fall too much into something

until you can’t breathe; the

other losing too much air

until you die


but whether you drown in yourself

or don’t have enough of yourself

you lose either way


Biographical Note: Katherine Lim is a junior at Vassar College. She is an English and Italian double major who loves reading fantasy and contemporary young adult novels, as well as writing prose and poetry. Her work has been featured in Vassar’s Asian and Asian American magazine, Portrait, and she has been an editor for them for three years.