Jessica Pishko

I write notes to myself, phrases of self-assurance: "You are beautiful," and "Say one good thing about yourself every day." I post these in my bathroom mirror so that I can look at them each morning while I put on creams and coverings. Desperately, I want to feel like my notes mean something, but instead I would like to know the writer better. Did she try and fail repeatedly? Does success make her breakfast go down easier?
The more I stare at the handwriting, the more it becomes something estranged from myself. I wonder, what was the writer's intent? How well does she know herself? The writing starts to look like spiders or varicose veins. All of the self-improvement makes me weary. There is more scaffolding on the street, but I walk beneath it and imagine that it is just there to give me temporary shelter. At the corner, I see an old woman with bags full of other people's refuse, their old cabbage.  I try to picture how she works on the inside, but I can't get past her swollen ankles, her cracked red lips.