poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

Mirror Face


Bars across the mirror 

partially obscured his face


he looks older, weary, wary

battered but not defeated


expecting another blow

gives no hint recognition


of a brute in an enemy uniform

a hard man paused for provocation.


So I have a history of wars and slavery;

he’s no innocent.


He glances over my shoulder

I turn to see what he sees


an empty hallway

dimly lit, silent but for a muted click


of a door closing.

I turn back and he’s gone


in a place no longer his

a scorched desert ranges


swallowing its horizons.

Well into its distance


two emaciated vultures 

struggle across it on iron feet 


one turns to look, face too distant 

for clarity, raises a wing


in acknowledgment no doubt ironic.

What briefly seems like my right wing goes up alike.


Surely not mine; a mirage,

a hint of impossible awareness.

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