a poem by Joan I. Siegel
From the beginning the eyes trick:
a burst of blinding light
the moonstone of your mother's face
objects afloat in the air above your crib.
It seems you could float up
to reach them, roll off your bed
into the sky.
Separate, you never see yourself
seeing - only someone else's eyes
looking back at you, someone's
eyes looking away.
Your range is limited as the pinhole
of a camera obscura, shadows waving
like black drapery at the edges. If you
do not turn your head, there is
nothing there. You see only parts
of yourself: hands playing the piano,
buttoning a jacket; the belly curving
away from you; a bent knee; feet
walking on a country road by
themselves. You are disembodied
as your shadow.
Eyes sit at their windows alone.
In the mirror
your face swallows itself
like the new moon.