My anatomy professor told me in class
that we humans don’t want to know ourselves.
Bullshit! I have read Shakespeare
“To thine ownself be true”,
I know myself so well
I am practically a narcissist.
I once had a picture of myself as my screen saver
and when someone made fun of me, I told them it was Art.
After class I was walking down the street
with the woman of my dreams,
The kind of dream that you fight against
The kind of dream with beautiful eyes
The kind of dream that you surrender to
when I saw a 500 pound woman on her smoke break.
I told my love that I wanted to slap that woman in the face.
My love, annoyed and offended, asked me to explain…
“When I was a kid, my grandmother died
Bill the drunk brought us our mail that day,
expecting a token of appreciation.
My father slapped him verbally like a child,
a 60 year old child.
Told him he was wasting a precious thing.
Bill the drunk just hung his head,
My stomach was in knots.
Years later my dad told the story of his mother’s death.
It was the first time I heard the story
he said my grandmother had cancer
at the end she was breathing through a tube
or maybe the tube was breathing through her
my father and uncle were with her
She said she had had enough
She looked at my father with a fragile glance
and said, “a las uno, a las dose…”
and pulled the tube out
she never got to three.
Bill the drunk died 15 years later
his liver did what he never could,
it both lived and died;
his body was found by a stranger.
A stranger found by a stranger.
My love then explained something to me…
She said, My father suggested I learn to play the cello
and when I asked him why he said, ‘Because it will deepen you’.
Then she looked at me with her eyes of pure grace, like clouds floating in a
hemisphere of brilliance, and she vividly communicated to me the pain of a
deepening person. I dropped my gaze ashamed, as if it were a scalpel.
Too deep perhaps
Two plus Two is too much sometimes.
Maybe the professor was right we don’t want to know ourselves,
But as desperately as I try to hide behind
my indignation of the world
and the beauty of my love,
She is my Mirror, Mirror on the wall
And She is the fairest of them all.