He saw in the mirror a rough dark thing

He saw in the mirror a rough dark thing,
splotched and corroded

He could see rust flakes on the rims of its eyes
waver in some breeze over there,
break free and float off

In those eyes he saw
striated bloodshot lightning cracks water
in a sheening sky of tornado-warning yellow
(storm-windows aged a browning icterine)

But worn cobalt twin-central spheres
adhered still in the yellowed sky-eyes
that mirrored back at him cracked and stained,
and each faded inner blue-vault
in turn contained its own black-orbed core

And in those final centralities
he could just make out the tiny shiny
beetle-black shadow-selves of himself,
a rough dark alien draped
over his own body-double in each,
a double mockery of twin-glitched mimicry
inside his own eyes
or the eyes
of the that
in the mirrror

He fell back out of the over-close scrutiny,
seeing whole again the blotched face-husk facing him

He could not interpret the look of it,
the way the dark thing gazed back at him,
whether it was cold hatred
or bottomless pity

Its caved chest heaved as if to speak and halted

Some word struggled
at the breach of its mouth,
some form lifted itself
on the parting and reshaping
of its parchment lips

It breathed out this untold shape
as an audible sigh instead,
the soughing of a crumbling wind tunnel
with a woman’s soft moan in it
(he shuddered at the noise the thing made,
hadn’t clocked the silence up till now,
hadn’t expected sound from over there)

Every feature of it settled now
into a sedimented rock face,
a battered cliff unclomb
on the far shore of reflection

He turned away from it then

And just as he did
he saw in a peripheral blur
the rough dark thing
turn away from him as well

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