poem to the mirror

by Tyler Tsay

today, my doctor
prescribes numbness. 
i excel.  hands melting
on the open stove
& not a sound
with it.  i am staring
at a pillar of salt or
myself in the mirror,
look too long
& begin to believe
in magic.  the illusion
of a replay button,
replay pills falling
down the throat
like vcr – black silt
skin spilling over
itself in reverse
forgetting to
press play.  july 4th
& i am storm
breaking on horizon
if storm means
dad’s cancer if breaking
means my mind. 
people setting
fireworks off in
the streets, a paint-
scape of steel
& spark in the air. 
another set of teeth
in my unsteady lips.
pressing together
thin as a wrist
over glass.
his finger on
my shoulder,
close enough to
my throat.
how after, i knelt
on the motel floor
for twelve days
like shakyamuni. 
starvation an almost
surgery, hunger
as more life left
to live. i slept.  i woke
drowning in flesh
or him & 
like a knife,
bloodless or too
much blood, i never
know.  only know
his shuddering weight,
daughter i will
never have. 
if numb enough,
i dream.  i see myself
as horizon
in the mirror. 
too vast
& unreachable
by everyone
in the world.

Originally published in Assaracus (Sibling Rivalry Press, July/August 2016)

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