by Barbara Ruth
Who is this inconnu in the mirror and what did I do to lose my innocence to her? I was never Panglossian, but I did see the glass as half full, maybe a bit more than half - when was that?
Now I’m a slugabed who gets up to pee, glances into the mirror between toilet and me, then crawls deeper under the covers with an empty bladder and disappointment leaking out of me like a vital fluid.
“Get up!” says my hortatory mother, three years dead. “Rise and shine!”
She watches me from her empyreal easy chair, but she’ll be up doing Tai chi soon. Do they have water aerobics in heaven? When I die I want to return to the Great Mother, back to the ocean, warm, as the Atlantic was when I swam off the coast of Dakar in my twenties.
I won’t be going to Africa again, not in this penurious circumstance I’ve found myself in for the past 40 years. Just as well. Boko Haram.
There are no mirrors in the bed. Here beneath the covers I’m only beset by my own reflections. Quite enough, I am returning to sleep. Wish me no dreams, Mom, not even sweet ones.
published 29 June 2016