Today's poem is by Derek Mong


Have I cornered you, my self, again—
Hiding inside this red-washed face, below

The curtain of our hair? Do you mind
If I clear an oval in the mirror and show

My face your face vignetted in the steam?
Can we now reconcile my fear that you

Exist but ostensibly, ghost on the bathroom
Wall whose pupils eclipse when I construe

Words for the stuff reflected in the frame?
Showerhead, spigot mount, Juniper shampoo—

Each breath fogs the mirror, we déjà vu
Again. Suppose then we agree on steam

Between our mouths, breathe clouds through
Which our tongues cross, kiss, and turn

The expression of our likenesses into
Something as analogous as names.

So sit still. Exhale. Mimic the man who
Stares you down and watch his eyes widen

Like holes you're falling through. You know
Two words to halt it all: You do? No. I am.

Copyright © 2011 Derek Mong All rights reserved
from Other Romes
Saturnalia Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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