Vassar Student Review

Vassar Student Review

– two-blade mirror

By Alexia Oerter

Voices muffled into distance 
yet breathed down my neck in whispers — 
flames of frost lapping my fingers, my knuckles, my wrists, 
always deeper, always more 
one single drop sinks in the lake below from teared out eyes, 
a bead the fish assail in waters of moss and weeds —
it has already disappeared — 
dead leaves float around to the fish undulating, 
breathing but brittle feathers foreign to this drowned world. 

On the other side, blades of grass dance with the breeze, 
heavy with melted snow, 
bent to the opaque barrier of pines just out of reach — 
listening in — 
sunbeams stream through branches to stain the earth in flecks of gold 
interwoven to send winged needles whizzing through the light — 
through the coat of ice breaking up senses to nothingness
they call — louder and louder, the breath of the forest thins the bars. 

I still — waiting — 
confined in a chrysalis submersed in splintered water 
constricting eyes and ears, heart and lungs 
until light touches — a freckle — enough to pierce the ice 
and to remember — 
I fracture the looking glass of the surface — 
mild air drips from my throat like honey — 
the numbness melts to clarity — 
with mirror shards dripping from my skin. 
I reach the warmth of the needle covered earth —
take a deep breath — — 

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