Volume 68, Number 2 · Spring 2019

Two-Way Mirror

He wants to know, this Dustin on Facebook,
how I get through the day. I want to write,
“These days of murky winter, it’s a challenge
just to recognize the day. If the alarm
hasn’t gone off, I tap the talking clock
to find out if it’s morning or
insomnia that’s roused me. I get out
of bed, hold an arm up, elbow bent,
like I’m pushing my way through a crowd or trying
to ward off a crowbar, and brush the doorways
left, right, left to the kitchen,
let water fill the bottom of the pot
till it wets my fingertip, spoon coffee into the basket
and screw the parts together, pour milk
into the saucepan until the weight feels right,
turn on the burner and listen for the whoof
of the igniting gas…” I could tell him all this,
but first I ask how he gets through the day.
And that’s the last I hear of Dustin.

This happens sometimes to me, maybe to anyone
who lives behind a two-way mirror. Last time
we had some people over, I was telling a friend
about Witter Bynner, how for a lark he founded
the so-called Spectrist movement, even cooked
a book of Spectrist poems, when Shelley
gently touched my arm and said, “Umm,
she’s walked away.”

Roy White is a blind person who lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota with a lovely human and an affable lab mix. His work appears or is forthcoming in Poetry, BOAAT Journal, the Kenyon Review, Copper Nickel, and elsewhere. He is a poetry reader for the Adroit Journal. He can be found on Twitter at @surrealroy.