Friday, August 1, 2014

First Cup--Friday Poetry

I stood this morning in the bathroom before
a three-panel mirror: I saw myself three times
and wondered who are you? who are you?
who are you?

There was no answer.

Only a suspicion: I am not one of these three.
I am a fourth, another one behind the mirror. Hidden.
A shy soul fearing discovery.

One is my public self.
One is the self others want me to be—or think I am.
The other one is my wannabe self—my jealous self.
These three are not who I am. There is another.
But who is that fourth one hidden behind the other three
now only peripherally visible to me?
A composite of the three? A trinity. No.
Each of the others is a false self.

I have lived a life in four stages:
The open self of childhood; the closing
self of adolescence; the closed self
of adulthood; the aging self of new discovery.

There is a moment with Yorick when Hamlet
Considers a skull and, doing so, considers himself.
It is a momento mori—a key sea change. I have
No naked skull buried for years, yet

I stand before these mirrors, a momento
mori of another kind, naked, and look
into the eyes of each false self; each looked
side-eyed as I did this—what were they thinking?
Fearful, perhaps, that I might shut one down
in favor of the other—or break each into shards
so that the other one can stretch out. Or
the real one may emerge.

—amk, 8/1/2014

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