They look to me for reassurance. They want to know that they are still there. That they exist in the complexity that lies within their body. I portray their imperfections, their hardships, and their persistence at beauty. I show them what they want to see.
When they nod, I nod. If they scrutinize, I scrutinize. When they talk, I talk back, perfecting every movement and judgment that they make.
They stare at me, primping their hair and dotting their eyes with mascara. When they are finished, they smile. I smile. We are a team, but only for a moment. Because when they are done, when they have finished staring, when they have found what they’re looking for, they no longer need me. They close their compact mirrors. They snap their medicine cabinets closed. They turn off the bathroom light.
Who am I without them? A blank mirror has nothing to reflect upon.