flesh is a kind of mirror

flesh is a kind of mirror

You cup my face with spindled hands to kiss
my cheek, leaving red waxy love I wipe
away. Your lacy robe ascends the steps

with regal strides, a train of cream perfume
billowing behind until you slip
inside your door to climb your king-sized throne

and settle in sleep. A child, I creep up stairs
that creak just like your knees. The bathroom door
is old, like everything else, and squeals to scare

the cat. Blue chipping floor is tile-cold,
but I have learned to dodge the slivers
that cut a novice foot, a dance of sorts.

A wisp of loose-robed white, I slide myself
into the middle, right between the mirrors
hung parallel above the facing shelves

of perfume vials and toothpaste tubes, and watch
my thin reflection bouncing back and forth
in endless, smudgy images. The catch

is that you cannot look yourself in the eye
because you’ll block the view, but if
you stand just right and twist, you’ll tunnel by

on either side until you disappear
in infinite stacking dolls. Back then the trick
was young and fresh, exciting, just like you were.

That woman’s husk, today you rest on top
the sheets, a barn-dried sheaf of Autumn corn.
I do not know how much you hear, and stop

to dab your spittled mouth. The walls are bare,
empty of mirrors, but flesh reflects enough.
They say I have your hair.