Speculum


think of something else, the doctor says, relax,

            you have to relax


you try to imagine nothing—

            an empty mirror,


specere (to behold) and —ulum (an instrumental suffix),

            “that by which we behold”:


            the shining light

of a polished reflective surface,

as in a telescope,


            a lustrous, colored area

on the wings of certain birds,


            an instrument that renders

what is inaccessible to observation,

how we breath, deeply, again,


when the doctor says relax, relax the muscles—

            and when have they been relaxed?


not when we forget ourselves have we relaxed

            think instead of celestial mirrors,

bodies whirling overhead,


of birds rising up from deep lakes, wet with effort,

            when the doctor says relax,

            think of something else.

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