Axis and Revolution

By GABEBA BADEROON 

Glass door in a glass wall,
screen of reflections, rain-
streaks, fingerprints, slips
the catch of the lock, swings

slowly open, axis and revolution,
reflecting a compass of sky,
trees, the sun in rain, windows
of the houses opposite, me watching.
Flashing glass on glass, the door fans
its cards of mirrors.

Reflected in the door, I gleam
against the windows facing,
reflections on reflections, seamless
turning, turning

outside into inside, opening
a dark glint of entry to your house.
Through glass skin,
I am inside, invited in.

Stiff glass sail catches
a sudden clip of wind, gathers
speed to whip wide
toward a tipping-point,

its own reflection, the end
of its half circle,
glass door against glass wall.
Across the road behind my own reflections,
I am too far away to run and catch
the door before it reaches
the end of its span, slams
backward against glass.

Stretching its hinge, the door scrapes
wall only briefly then springs back,
quivering, ringing, heading
home to the lock again,

Or right through, cracking and splaying
on impact, hurtling across the threshold,
past the curtains, into the rooms.
Search as you will, you’ll never find
all of me. Some splinter
of light will elude you, stay.

Did I see your hand reach
the door in time, click it fast.

Fastened, sealed, glass door giving
back what it keeps outside.

 

 

Gabeba Baderoon is the author of the collections The Dream in the Next Body, The Museum of Ordinary Life, and A Hundred Silences.

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Axis and Revolution

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