Mirror Angels

My reflections and I

plot the points of our knees

like stars scratched in the floor,

we can’t hold summer

in our flimsy hands.

I lean my head against the point where two mirrors join together in a museum exhibit and suddenly I am one girl split into three. This is educational. This is sacred division. I whisper softly to us but they don’t answer my prayers for rescue, escape. I can only mimic their arms with my arms and I cannot decipher the secret within our bodies.

The rough stars

join constellations

Gaping-Mouth-of-Disbelief

with Grinning-Face-

That-is-Not-a-Face.

I look into the mirrors and there are girls who wear my face but not my memories. I look into the mirrors, I look at us and I am so happy that at least some of us are free. When I stand they turn their backs to me and greet their secret, intangible worlds. I cannot go with them when I walk away.

Dream #3

So last night I dreamed I was on a train platform, escaping from somewhere and attempting to run to the parking lot (of the train station?) and maybe a car. There were lots of people around me and they were all running and shouting and I didn’t know anyone except for a Russian assassin named Yuri. I’m assuming he was Russian because that’s all he spoke (yes, I dreamed in Russian and no, I could not understand him, I don’t know Russian). He had some kind of high power sniper rifle on his back (I couldn’t tell what kind) and we were running through the crowd, maybe taking enemy fire, while Sarah Brightman’s “Who Wants to Live Forever” played over the station speaker system. I think he got shot or something because I woke up screaming in my head, “OMG YURI!” and we never made it to the parking lot.

Bedtime Shenanigans

Me: (gets into bed, burrows under blankets) Hey! It’s your turn to take care of the humidifier. And the bathroom light is on.

Mr. J: (noise of mild distress)

Me: Oh come on!

Mr. J: I guess we’re sleeping with the light on.

Me: No! Come on!

Mr. J: I can’t move.

Me: Seriously?!

Mr. J: (another noise of mild distress)

Me: Fine! (unburrows self and fills humidifier)

Mr. J: You’re like the Lord Commander of the Humidity Watch.

Me: (turns off light. returns to bed, trips over Mr. J’s phone charger and screeches)

Twisted Myths

They say I took the most beautiful dream in the world and destroyed it. Burned it up and my useless life right along with it. I got exactly what I deserved, what Pride throws out to everyone who fails. Death and shame.

No one remembers we were trapped there too, blind and starving for the open sky. They said, “Give us your magic or else.”

Or else.

Bloody feathers on the floor. But our wings didn’t break and we flew away and YEAH after eons of darkness I flew, unbroken, into that radiant sunrise.

Now they tell you my story with a warning: don’t break the rules or you’ll end up like me. Don’t go too far or you’ll end up like me, don’t get too close to what you love the most or you’ll end up just like me.

Now, because of me they tell you to be cautious, be wary, be afraid.

Remember the stories of the heroes Bravery and Hubris brought safely home? Remember those beloved by the gods? Those who tasted victory instead of defeat?

My story is not their story.

They tell you: never reach for more than what you are capable of catching, never strive to become your dreams.

They do not tell you my only dream was freedom.

*

This poem first appeared in Lupercalia.

Photo Credit: Landscape with the Fall of Icarus, Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Orpheus

…so for your arrogance

I am broken at last…

—HD “Eurydice”

I fell

(a bird’s cry)

stumbled over

the weight of the sky,

(twisted in the air)

all of mortality

smothering us

(joined the liturgy of curses

eaten by the dead).

The cry I plucked

from your lips,

your frown;

(a bird’s cry)

I wanted you that badly

(twisted in the air).

I tripped

over your slow step,

the kudzu vine across the path

or something else

equally absurd

(joined the liturgy of curses

eaten by the dead).

I had to stop myself

from looking sooner,

pushed the wanting down

until it was nothing

but a whisper. Then

the bird screamed.

*

This poem first appeared in Lupercalia.

Photo Credit: Nymphs Finding the Head of Orpheus, John William Waterhouse 1900