Four Swipes

This mirror disfigures,

Strangely deflated reflection,

Almost like a bird well beyond its prime.

The once majestic feathers,

Now broken, shed,

Wings bared to the bone.


Colors escape,

Even black and white have abandoned him,

Every feature, a shade of grey.

Are shadows grey,

Or have they lost the rich dark,

Chained in the basement for too long?

Black eyes; now grey from disuse.

The core and the whites have merged,

For neither had enough vision,

To hold structure within their bodies.


Beyond the reflection,

The mirror stands brown and red.

Blood, once red,

Swiped across its edges,

Now merges into the murky brown of unwiped dirt.

The left hand rises,

Touches the other him;

Yet feels only the granules of dirty blood.

It's time to wipe.

One swipe,

The brown of red envelops the center,

What was grey is now murky;

Reflection deflects.

Two swipe,

More dirt spreads,

The image is wiped out.

The reflective turns opaque.


Three swipe,

Sudden return of the image,

Part vivid, a soft white,

Right eye,

Seeing through to itself.

Solitary drop of water,

Crowns the repressed him.

Hand swipes this water.


Four swipe,

Dirt cannot persist in this water's flow.

The mirror regains its form

Stands true to its purpose.


Colors flow back in,

The parched bird,

Now quenched,

Seeks movement,

Stuck feet stumble,

Sparse feathers stretch;

And lighter now, they take flight.


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