The Mirror Box

A flawless

unbroken square of

mirrored glass

lowered into

a white box


creates two


one to the left

            one to the right

rehabilitation for beginners

            instructed next

            to place

left hand

in left box

the one nearest to life


            with absent hand

            to the right

in clear view

helpful left

lies flush along the

floor of its pen

            mirror version

            giving the impression

            it never lost a twin

            to life’s mangle

            when no one was watching

hours a day

experts observe

twitch upon twitch

bring five digits

to life

slow dance

narcissus called

shallow and vain

for wanting feeling back

            these tricks

            of judgment

            guarantee progression

from thinking cavities

linger forever

to suspecting

            the appetite for touch

            is possible again

            after years of dumb solitude

            in various mirrors

you will see counterfeits

            acute fingertips

lines criss-crossing palms

            creases around knuckles

affectionate handshakes

            offers of friendship and more

to fill the years

            until your own final disappearance


worth peering

            into the adjoining space

            where a stump

            gives the impression

            with enough reflection

            even a missing hand

            can emerge from

the shadows and

be of use again.

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