Mirrors Break Back
words and music by erin mckeown

so fragile a delicate flame that burns out
so fleeting in nature love for myself?
one look i’m full of cracks
mirrors break back

back and forth between faith and doubt
the stage and the shadow
the spring and the fall
the constant swing of it all
gets me down! down!
still that merry-go-round finds a way to come round
so i can get up again (amen!)
tell me, do you feel the same way when
mirrors break back
(oooh break back!)

i never had a model, i only had a mother
who compared ourselves to others
always another and another
i was taught to think
the bitch takes up space
the witch gets burned at the stake
this history deceives me
leaves me vulnerable to attack (uh huh!)
mirrors breaks back
(oooh break back!)

true, sometimes i do think i am beautiful
with strong hands and wrists
pulling on strings and raising fists
and when i punch the glass
shatter that ceiling feels like we can all break through
but then you turn around it turns on you
all of us know this realness too (we do!)
we feel the same lows, in our tight clothes
but at least we’re less alone when those
mirrors breaks back
(oooh break back!)

for every action there is an equal and opposite action
for every confident step there is the back stab of fear
backslash, backslide, slide step into the negative, the president
you are all wrong
the patriarchy is strong and its biggest weapon
is hanging in your house saying
you better check yourself!
you better check yourself! too late!
and straight to my heart its cardiac
mirrors breaks back
(oooh break back!)

for every action there is an equal and opposite action
for every hateful look i will close my eyes
and picture a fire, an endless choir until
i will not believe what i see
when the mirror is trying to break me
i will look up
i will look out
how about i meet your eyes
and in that rhapsodic deed
mirrors break (ooh break!)
that’s the seed
that’s all the reflection
i need

© 2017 Erin McKeown