The unfamiliar space holds the promise
Of immortality in black and white
A photographic print
To match the mirror’s reflection
As a transwoman of confident stature
I still seek affirmation.
Will this frozen image capture
and portray the woman I see myself to be?
All around gathered as if in answer to a call
Stand the beautiful people
Perfect in their presentation
As blooms in a queen’s rose garden
Smooth skin and perfect smiles,
Shining with the brightness of summer sunshine.
Their portraits lining the walls reflecting, radiating
The coveted feminine ideal.
My practiced smile, a disguise,
The fragility of self-confidence revealed
In growing discomfort
And faltering self-assuredness.
My armor has proven to be an illusion.
Does theirs afford more protection?
Does their beauty immunize