You avert your eyes,
as though they can pierce you with theirs.
Because you know they can.
Because then you’d have a hard time feeling self-righteous. You’d kick yourself for walking by.
Is that ego really so important?
We rise to the visions that others project,
falling to the ones that no one wants to see.
He dabbed a sprig of liquid lavender on one wrist.
Then the other.
His mirror gawked at him,
struck blind by such brazen behavior.
The crystal bottle shook as his hands did,
which made replacing the cap difficult.
His father didn’t know.
His father didn’t know about the silk scarves stuffed into a small slit in the upstairs mattress. His father didn’t know about the trips to the theatre district, and the lace costumes she had tried on.
Was there no mercy? No understanding?
Of course not,
this was a man’s world.
There stands time, not as a grandfather, but as a threadbare coat. Thrown on the bed, or the vertebrae of a chair, waiting. Time waits for no man, but birthed patience in the stead of something greater. This coat, a needy thing, rejects all who wear it, particular to a fault. And whose fault is it? Is it he, worrying at the dregs of his morning coffee? Is it she, plucking mournfully at the whiskers of her cello? Or is it the unfinished manuscript, curled against the banister, forgotten? This coat, with ears upturned, eyes tarnished, and smeary skin, it neglects to mention who it waits for. The thing retains glorious roots and an empty tongue. This vain supposition lies misbegotten, its birth not of the womb but of the mind. Can you feel it now, tugging at your sleeves with its dull teeth? Chipping away at your eyesight, a malignant Michelangelo. Immortality is a broken sewing machine, pinned to the eyes of the beholder. I think you’ll understand when you’re older.
Safe on a tightrope,
falling from a microscope.
Drowning in a pool of stars,
purchasing our pretty scars.
Writing things on the wall,
using honey and a tiny scrawl.
Forever fighting our mirrors,
slaying those ugly little flaws.
This is how we get our claws.
Like Narcissus of old,
trapped in front of a reflection bold.
Only she dislikes what she sees.
Humans make shadows with their hands,
a reflecting mirror from the badlands.
Ghosts do not miss a thing,
a watchful wedding ring.
River crash and burn,
dust inside an urn.
Cowards hide in the eyes of others,
a feeling he smothers.
forever filled with gaunt sighs.