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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