My Face Is Nowhere

Alice White

near symmetrical. I do all the math.

My husband tells me I look beautiful 

in a mask; I dye my eyes to match it.

Woman and wife are the same word in French.

I feel most free when I’m standing braless

at school drop-off under a giant coat. 

Girl and daughter are the same word in French.

I held water in my mouth for decades

to keep it from going dry if I was

ever asked to speak. I dream of chainsaws.

I cut a small incision in the neck

of a haggard, weeks-old birthday balloon,

let the air breathe itself silently out

into the world again. My air. My breath.


Headshot | Alice White


ALICE WHITE is an American poet who has lived in rural France since 2014. Her writing has received support from the Hawthornden Foundation, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and AWP Writer to Writer. Her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, The Poetry Review, New Ohio Review, and swamp pink.