It is with his mirror he reconstructs 

the passage

of time. 

The warden walks from the north

wall to the south

one time every hour. Cannot

hear his approach—too loud

with the flushing, the

slamming echoes 

of the two—but can

see it in mirrors

if held here like this

yes, only if you are outside 

can you look in, only with 

a mirror can you look out.

The forcing of myopia 

through the frosting of 

glass windows.


It is with his mirror he waits, thinks,

“is there such a thing

as normal when I am 

a person, people have teeth,

and I am not entitled to them?”

Just wants teeth to not 

hiss when speaks, so can

be heard, understood.

They say you will

die anyway, what need 

you teeth for—to atone,

to whet a blade for carving?


It is with his mirror he shows  

a creation: thirty-two gamepieces,

and a board. Carved of soap,

dyed with pen. 

It is with his mirror he counts backwards,

inducts backwards,

comes to the chill

that comes of it.

It is with his mirror he sees a nick 

and blood. Cut himself

shaving because the present 


is closer to him

than he could see

is closer to him

than to anyone

else I know. It absorbs 

him as a blanket 

facing wind. There is 

no wind here 

nor any toy or string to wind, find

wound. But there is a wound where 

the selves in mirror

are closer than they appear.