Blue House

by Christopher Nelson

selected by Mary Jo Bang

IT SEEMS LIKE A ROOM

 

It seems like the familiar
light upon the familiar body.
It seems like a room in which the mirror is a door
that lets pass only what you think you are.
A room comfortable in its colors, simple
in its purpose. It seems like your room,
like the room you share,
the room you dream of. It seems
like the room you return to when the world
has had its way. A room with the expected
things: curtains, carpet, the sense
of suspended time. It seems like a room
rich with all you've enjoyed, memory
in the fabrics, memory in the wood.
A room in all ways possible, except
that it is not a room. It is not
moonlight rendering it to your eyes.
It is not daylight nor dusk nor fluorescence,
not a room in candlelight.
It is not a lover's body rocking above yours,
not a lover's voice saying,
This, here—know it and remember.
It is not a room but it seems like one.
Yet you rise to touch it,
the traffic of faces in the mirror.
It seems like your face, this one before you now.
It seems like the face you've given everything for.


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