What secret sleights of hand, this spy.
Plies bristling border guards, turns
on heels and clicks away. We listen,
suave ring leader! Follow your every
mission, grow suspicious, like you,
link to your Knox.
Yet how near-mad you seem, teeth
bared, in the wide open world, purpose
sapped in détente. In love, madder yet,
skeletal, you know to lock down
all that is precious, have us cross
our hearts, swallow you, hope to die.
The mirrors are watching,
vie for choice vantage points,
to be carried in pockets,
to replace the peace of whole walls;
track lit, as though crowned,
above porcelain necessities,
empty as caverns, deep with judgement,
clever as set designers,
dangerous as revisionist historians,
the mirrors are watching;
distorting, bent backwards to please
or, bellies thrust forward, fat
and laughing at us,
mocking our rooms,
mocking the human eyes
we believe in—always that wet pair;
the mirrors, watching,
linking together images from un-alike days,
selling seats to such cruel dramas
as the creep of grey hair,
the retreat of gums;
the mirrors are watching
and pointing the finger at them won’t help.
They point back, tell us, “It’s you, after all,
who cannot be alone or endure
the singularity of moments
the inscrutable rising and setting of the sun
which ignores you,
the impossibility of entrance or exit from
this world into its opposite.”
We must attack
mirror of what we wish.
From Inventory (Anvil Press, 2009). Used with permission of the publisher.