Mirror and the Image / Neera Kashyap

When I look at myself in the mirror

I see a superior being – a diamond glinting in polished glass;

I look closer and see vanity – a hennaed crown, dull old eyes;

I look only at the mirror – and this is hard to do – I see

it doesn’t give a damn for this

city of my imagination –

muscling and cosmetic,

bustling and kinetic;

nestled in it.

The mirror is beyond,

it rests.

Author bio: Neera Kashyap has had a career in environmental & health journalism and communication. She has authored a book of short stories for young adults Daring to Dream, (Rupa & Co.) and contributed to five prize-winning anthologies of children’s literature (Children’s Book Trust). As a writer of short fiction, poetry, book reviews and essays, her work has appeared in literary journals and poetry anthologies published in the USA, UK, Singapore, Pakistan and India. The anthologies include ‘Hibiscus’ & ‘Shimmer Spring’ (Hawakal Publishers, India), ‘The Kali Project’ (Indie Blue Publishers, USA), Poetica 1 & 2 (Clarendon Publishing, UK), the ‘Anthology of Erotic poetry’, (Red River, India), ‘Freedom Raga’ (Exceller Books, India) & ‘Peacocks in a dream’ (Erothanatos, India), with poems due to appear in forthcoming collections.

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