Mirage, to be reflected— from the French se mirer; from the Latin mirare

Who are you writing to?
Who are you speaking to?

Every question’s pitched

toward a you. Always I and thou,
though no one meets the face
I lower to the sink except its own

reflection glancing back
from the milky porcelain
glazed with water drops,

then glancing up again
through the curtained window
where the one green leaf

at the end of a branch
shakes itself dry and turns
into a hummingbird.


In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← Letter to NostalgiaSong of Work →

Poet Luisa A. Igloria (Poetry Foundation web page, author webpage ) is the winner of the 2015 Resurgence Prize (UK), the world’s first major award for ecopoetry, selected by former UK poet laureate Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. She is the author of What is Left of Wings, I Ask (2018 Center for the Book Arts Letterpress Chapbook Prize, selected by Natasha Trethewey); Bright as Mirrors Left in the Grass (Kudzu House Press eChapbook selection for Spring 2015), Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser (Utah State University Press, 2014 May Swenson Prize), Night Willow (Phoenicia Publishing, 2014), The Saints of Streets (University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2013), Juan Luna’s Revolver (2009 Ernest Sandeen Prize, University of Notre Dame Press), and nine other books. She is a member of the core faculty of the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University which she directed from 2009-2015. In 2018, she was the inaugural Glasgow Distinguished Writer in Residence at Washington and Lee University. When she isn’t writing, reading, or teaching, she cooks with her family, knits, hand-binds books, and listens to tango music.

2 Replies to “You”

  1. YOU AND I

    Words in their primary or immediate signification stand for nothing, but the ideas in the mind of him that uses them. —John Locke

    Are you talking to me? Are you writing to me?
    Answers to questions you pitch into the dark
    are meanings I assign to the questions you ask.

    Always, you and I, will be at opposite ends
    of a half-lit hallway where echoes are as urgent
    as the tremulous confessions we burden ourselves

    with each time we look into our reflections
    on the one-way mirrors we look into when hiding
    hurts hurled like hunting knives at target trees.

    When I call you, I mean to quickly hold you down,
    to find your voice, to shape your feelings, to own
    your thoughts, to mould you as I want to have you.

    I interpret you through my own lenses and mirror
    you as you would me and have our confluence
    in this reflection, a dragging into a dungeon

    of thought constructing meaning instead of finding
    it, and the “You” becomes the “I” held in bondage.
    Except than in this conquest, I lose everything.

    —Albert B. Casuga

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