• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 07
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All Is Not As It Might Seem

You don’t care what I think or say — It is not a mirror,
you insist. It’s a porthole into another life, the very one
you’ve always dreamed of, the one you crawled into
despite all the rejecting head shakes, the belittling stares.
A secret life, shaped by your hands, a ceramic room
wherein you brought to life a variety of shapes
with varying utility, bowls, pots, pitchers, mugs, and more.
Under each a trite ominous little saying, the kind
one might find in a fortune cookie, “Don’t pull
the tiger’s tale,” or “waiting patiently will enhance
the tea,” or “until she nods, make no advance.”
Voiceless clay mythological beings look down
on the crock pots, accusing them of being precisely
what they are — I argue back, trying to engage,
to bring you back to your senses. Look around you,
I say, clearly it is a reflection of where we stand.
He approaches the opening to gesticulate
with his hand. Perplexed was I when, true enough,
no matter where we stood inside the room,
we threw no reflection. As I glare through
the opening, objects appear to be moving.
I feel faint when I witness the porcelain cup
laugh aloud to a joke told by an earthenware vase.
The big brown crockpots will have none of it,
cursing under their breath. It was just at this juncture
I realized, perhaps for the first time, how narrow a space
I had allowed my imagination, how thin my willingness
to believe. I knew beyond all doubt I was wrong.


All Is Not As It Might Seem

I knew nothing, or not enough to digest what I had
only just seen with my very eyes. You, strike a pose.
I see you, chiseling cautiously, to soon become
one of them, a sculpture. I watch you closely,
mouth agape as you slowly stiffen into your
ascendance, your underside inscribed with this:
“Death enlivens us.”