The Colors of Mirrors
. For Sophie Mitchell
When you’re horizontal, asleep,
all mirrors are precisely white:
They slyly pluck out this
or that secret, etching them
delicately so they remain secrets.
When darkness begins to leave,
quiet as a butterfly’s breath, they
turn almost as blue as a flatted
note you abandoned on a table
hoping it would stay unread.
In full daylight, they disguise
themselves as plain silver
tricking you into believing
you see only yourself and never
notice that you’re blind.
Come sunset, they sing loud
in oranges and violets. Always
just south of the right key to remind
you they’re watching you alertly
as a bent second hand
until you tread—softly-socked—
upstairs to bed. Then they
put on their watchtower faces
and perfectly white glasses.
They read you all night
and they laugh and laugh and laugh.
About the Poet
Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies and has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and The Best of the Net: Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. Lent 1999 is new from Leaf Garden Press His chapbook, Three Visitors won the Negative Capability Press Chapbook Competition in 2010. Artifacts and Relics, another chapbook, was just released by Folded Word. His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster.