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Every Day I Panic

The little mirror in my bathroom is tilted up

like the heads of Berliners in spring. And

at least once a day there is a moment when my heart pumps fast

like I've sent a text message to the wrong person.

The sort of message where I reveal everything about myself

to my boss

or to my mom.

Or I accidentally send a picture of the fleshy part of my knee and it looks like my butt.

And I have to delete it quickly, hoping they didn't see,

because what could be worse than a maybe-butt to your boss?


I'll wonder if I am a vampire now,

like Angel or Spike. Or maybe Nosferatu.

But my memories of him are foggy like

the boat he rolled in on and my opinions of him could certainly not fill a library.

Or a multi-season podcast.


And then I'll remember that my boyfriend is tall and I am short.

Not just can-I-help-you-get-that-plate short

but oh-sorry-I-hope-I-didn't-offend-you-by-calling-you-short short.

But also sometimes oh-my-god-you're-short-too! short.

Because in this world that’s not made for me, people come in two sizes:

taller than me and new best friend.


So I'll tilt the mirror back down and lean in close,

inspecting my eyebrows I've forgotten to pluck

and my earring holes that sink like oatmeal bubbles,

and I’ll tell myself I’m still here.

Or at least not invisible like I thought.


Tam Eastley (she/her) is a writer and web developer based in Berlin. She is currently editing her way through her first novel, and has recently been published in Fusion Fragment, CP Quarterly, Drunk Monkeys, Visual Verse, and The Wild Word. Together with her sister, she runs ongoing, a prompt journal for music and prose. When she's not writing, you can find her cross stitching, reading on the balcony, or going for various hikes around Berlin. She can be found online here:

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