Friendships—died June 24, 2009, once
beloved but not consistently beloved.
The mirror won the battle. I am now
imprisoned in the mirror. All my selves
spread out like a deck of cards. It’s true,
the grieving speak a different language.
I am separated from my friends by
gauze. I will drive myself to my own
house for the party. I will make small
talk with myself, spill a drink on myself.
When it’s over, I will drive myself back
to my own house. My conversations
with other parents about children pass
me on the staircase on the way up and
repeat on the way down. Before my
mother’s death, I sat anywhere. Now I
look for the image of the empty chair
near the image of the empty table. An
image is a kind of distance. An image
of me sits down. Depression is a glove
over the heart. Depression is an image
of a glove over the image of a heart.
Copyright © 2018 by Victoria Chang. Originally published in Kenyon Review. Used with the permission of the poet.