the mirror wouldn’t look at me

a poem

Before the Mirror, Berthe Morisot


The mirror wouldn’t look at me.
I pretended not to care
and ignored her right back
as if neither of us was there.

I learned to move within shadows
and speak softly when others were
talking so no one saw, no one heard,
I was and wasn’t there.

Did the sun see me? I couldn’t tell.
The clouds did, they followed me 
everywhere I went.
I breathed them in, white, gray,
black, precipitating or misty,
they were all the same to me.

Other days I rolled in 
and out like the fog
and when I lifted, I was certain
everyone was glad I was gone.

In my chest, on my red parted lips,
pumps blood unenriched,
words unspoken, unwritten.
All I have are sighs
and the comfort of night.

So much gets in between
me and meant to be, if there is
such a thing.

I can only long
for the unreflecting mirror
and the blackest clouds
to fill me.


© 2018, A. Breslin. All Rights Reserved