Childlike ones don’t tattle on the choice of stepfathers.
Compendiums of quiet they are—the bathtub girls
remain hushed and become legends in waiting.
Something happened to my medicine-cabinet mirror
as it began to shake and would not stop,
which is consistent with the story nobody knows.
Silence simmers like butter oddly
(and goldenly) brought to froth but never does it
clarify into language.
My father-man’s face I caught glimpses of—
that man always would be in my keeping.
More phantom (than not)
he breathed from that bathroom mirror.
A spotty history no man wants to own.
Invincible. Never-heart of the canyon.
For sure it is her/me his naked prey in the tub
Underwater refractions. Blue/green.
He watches me spot him in glass.
With such aquatic vision, time should have been mine.
My space in which to ask, Whose bath comes dripping
in dreams with that same clear-glass girl
up to her neck in water?
In her dream of cherry trees
Frozen she was : : thoughts like that offered weight
to her being
Out of all those branches there should be one strong enough
to hold a swing full of her
up and out there and never
Numb she feels as any child who sees men with glass eyes
in every mirror