That Damned Mirror

That old man is staring at me again, blue eyes like beacons burning into me, searing my soul.


At first, I think I know him, then not!

Does he know me from before? Did I meet him long, long ago?

I did not mean to look in the mirror, it was a mistake. I have years of practice thinking of mirrors like radiation sources that will remove my skin, my mother.

Mirrors are the enemy.


I would rather look into other eyes, that little swaddled one, the creamy kitten, the uniformed tiny one with a glove and a ball.

I would prefer even the old lady wanting anyone to see her, to listen to her, her life like a record stuck on one song, standing there at 5th avenue, not waiting on her bus, her voice stuck on high with a vibrato from some long-lost opera, Maybe Korean. I don’t know.

Why should I look in the mirror to see the corrosion of youth?

Why should I look in the mirror to confirm the fact I have lived too long?

To smile at little Jimmy, and get his hug in return, that is better.

Or my brown dog that never seems to notice my lines.  Always smiling and bouncing in my face.

Any of those is much better than looking at that old man.

I prefer those eyes of life, so much better than my mirror.

F… the mirror, it lies.

There walks the old lady Stanton down the street, with her hair bound high, and her eyes cast low.  Should I touch her shoulder again?  To watch her smile because someone noticed her, today.

I will not remind her of her mirror, that ultimate liar.

Or, old William, he will not move from the Tellie until his daughter comes home, with his latest knee brace,,,,, I bet he does not look in the mirror.

My heart is filled with song, with high notes that come deep from my toenails with a swagger of life that did not know an end.

How did I get here? How do I get out?

I still have a canvas to be yet painted, I still have life, I still have piss and vinegar!

I will still tell the devil exactly what to do with his split tail and where to place it if he stands in front of me!

In the silence of the night, without the mirror, I still want the music, my loves, the dancing and my soul.

I do.

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