I am afraid of my mirror; slick, silver, sleek.
I see you there. I think it’s me, but it’s you.
You are all that gives me me; you give me a body.
Otherwise I dream of a silver belly,
Far and away, emptier than the sky.
They say you are pure projection.
To me you are the sea, reflecting snowdrops,
One by one.
I reflect upon you. They say I project upon you.
I am mightily confused. But the ocean by which we sat
Never freezes; and maybe you long for the spray
That fizzes above the waves of my hair.
My hair turned silver after you went away
From the gray mirror. My pewter, plastic, putrid
Soul tried to draw you, but only came up
With abstraction, a kind of realism that broke.
I let it turn silver. The mirror broke into shreds
That were like strands of hair, or stems of roses.
And you left a message. I simply went to the market
Where I learned that they sell mirrors, a dime a dozen.
The ocean breaks up into rivers. The mirror turns back
Into a dream of the sky.
Your call makes me think of you
Sitting and letting the waves wash over your toes,
Your big toes, your long, skinny toes.
Martha Strom lives in Brooklyn, NY; and she currently volunteers at Poets House. Previously, she taught English and writing to Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities and also at four different universities.