Reflections

Objects in the mirror are closer than they appear

 

reflecting (I believed)

on the past

you held hostage

by incessant fears

me, shackled

by gnawing guilt

and that serrated label

felon

I saw away

at wizened meanings

pick-ax prospecting

insight nuggets

repeated glances

long, contemplative stares

mooning over

the loss of you

languishing

impaled on

refracted fragments

sharded mistakes

there is a blinding flash

of brights

 

I see myself

held hostage

by the past

half-living, shackled

in your well-worn shoes

peripherally

a dual dueling self

holds releasing keys

 

Boxed In

in a society obsessed

with boxes

we lost ourselves

in the boxing

and unboxing

of where we fit

and didn’t

within ourselves

each other

and this judging world

 

the boxes fell upon us

lesbian

no such address

return to sender

all stickered, stamped

and labeled

waiting for UPS

to pick us up

and deliver

as if authenticity

were an address

the post office

cannot find

 

if only

we could have

delivered ourselves

 

our love became nested

deep inside matryoshkas

a tiny hard babushka

buried deep inside personas

public reserve

shellacking over

private passion

dolls, un-womanly

wooden and distorted

 

my heated curves

and sharp edges

don’t fare well

in boxes

 

I was punch drunk

in the corner

from all this

boxing ourselves in

I cracked

knocked things over

I meant

to tear off labels

break down

confining boxes

instead

I tore

your heart out

broke the back

of our love

 

I wanted to love you

boundaryless

now I don’t get

to love you at all

 

 

 

 

Costumes

in this life

that doesn’t fit her

she slips in and out

of costume

the intellectual

professional

advocating, teaching

smartly skirting

the absence of her profession

toeing a brightly painted

barricade

the suburban

divorcee

in need of extra cash

burning moonlit

candle at both ends

concealing needs

beneath

lauded patience

and efficiency

the exiled

brood mother

conjuring

aspartame-free

nestings

repeatedly booting

cowbirds’ parasitic

resentment eggs

the “call me at any time

I’ll be there to listen,

stage an intervention,

bake or hold your hand,

give you painful truths

to which you won’t listen”

friend

defriended

defrauded when she

calls collecting

attempting to

befriend herself

the partner

flawed and hurtful

hurting

unmoored

awash in

earsplitting

silent recrimination

treading water

on industrial carpet

the woman

defamed and defiled

vilified and reviled

shedding sackcloth

and incendiary ashes

standing naked

before herself

in harsh or

compassionate

scrutiny