Trompe l’Oeil

Once, while a man sped me down
     a back road in a gray pickup,
          I memorized my younger face

in the passenger side mirror,
     burned the opal at my throat
          and the white secondhand blouse—

tiny lilacs, puckered sleeves—
     into the undersides of my eyelids.
          My hair streamed

the color of hay out the window.
     Lettering on the mirror told me
          that despite how close

I appeared, I may have been closer.
     Something lit the opal’s pink fires
          nearer the surface than I knew.

Things were not what they seemed.
     There was nothing I could reach
          out and touch. We parked

in a cloud of gravel dust. I hurled rocks
     into the quarry’s dark mouth,
          bible black, and lied

about hearing them hit bottom.
     Inside every stillness, I believed
          something moved.

Originally appeared in The Florida Review


Lamp of the Body

Lamp of the Body