Vol 9, Num 13 :: 2010.06.25 — 2010.07.08
As a boy I searched the oversized bathroom mirror
in awe of how it could
arrest everything in its jurisdiction
and lock it up for the duration of light —
even those objects, actions, people
that seem to be around the corner,
out of sight.
Like an astronomer with his telescope
I hoped to find proof of another world
created each time new light and I
cast our eyes into the mirror —
a little boy dancing with pruned skin after a long bath;
a pre-teen flexing, flexing (the muscles are growing aren’t they?);
a young man adjusting a bow tie for his choir show time;
the final touches of a razor, hair gel, and neck tie
for his graduation, interview, wedding.
Was each boy in the mirror a reflection,
or a perception of someone else sharing my eyes?
Maybe that boy didn’t get teased for being scrawny
maybe his parents never found the magazines under his bed
(maybe he was never addicted to naked women in the first place)
maybe he liked computers more than words
maybe his dad was alive and played catch
But those worlds, their mysteries and fantasies,
have all gone dark, solved by physics and time.
I understand those boys in the mirror,
reflecting a piece of what I saw, what I didn’t.
I still stare into my bathroom mirror,
past the gray hairs in my beard,
past my hairline that doesn’t want to be seen,
past the tiny wrinkles laughing around my eyes.
Somewhere in the pools of my irises
the boys are splashing,
screaming for me to join them.