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Three Poems
Crooked Mirror

“When I focus on my pupils in the bath mirror, the oval frame, in my peripheral vision, appears crooked.”
—from a meditation manual


mirrored      clouds              now

virtual                  glitter       their

idyll                     the first person

how is it wind                   patterns

homeward                the dry shine

barbarous                        hung up

rounded out                     to climb

beyond small self’s             ovoid

interplanetary                      rock?



the mirror’s                     bone light

mimes                      a witchcrafted

blue dust                              ill-luck

broken             seven times       why

a guest asks                    once upon

a time                the sphinx answers:

humanity!                          your mind

experiments             in swamp slime

moss                   bracken       briars


a skeletal                                    tall

man’s             silhouette        breaks

the enchantment                confess!

strange attractor                    of self-

sense                   sun-silvered basin

faint perfume                    of shavers

blood-warmed                           a gilt

compass            lost              an oval

framed                 colossal hardwood


a sparky                            bottomless

frisson                               dust devils

blurred                       blued sediment

the trials of                                  years

gliding                      through filaments

gestalts’                                    artifice

an absence                                without

light        bends                       blinkered

spinning                    casts of gradients


bubbles touch                        universes

spooky hunches                              one

bursts                            horizons above

rubbed                   reflections              a

hand                slams               a cabinet

rattles                                the bath drips

Never wish for much                     a spy-

glass            ten thousand things          a

dragon’s isle                               chimera


Quartz Crystal


Catch it if you can!                 a cold

white world                     we were in

reckoning                       never miss

detached                          the angels

of snow men                shearing half

the sticks                             westerly

the wind                     hits you like a

“yellow bitch”               folkname for

sun’s                   seven-mile wallop

wind-catcher!                     that aura

a strange                                   fit of

passion                         in its innards



smeared glass                   the bottle

broken                       with messages

in gravel                       its short spits

iced water                         trammeling

once upon                    a               be-

ginning                          sun-glimpsed

granite islands                   an under-

tow         of cobalt                   known

parallels                           white holes

the dead know                    the worlds

outside                        black sparrows

the shortest path                   by stone



lost     cities                          of crystal

lives            a previous             calling

once           upon                       a time

often       I     thought                     who

comes                        into        oneself

just                        doing         nothing?

blue sol                                 its     one

moment                                       rises

whether                           or           not

ponderable                                     the

one               only                            of

each      small                         ultimate


Failing at Easy Origami


this crepe paper                    origami

kit                   I construct        myself

a   startled                       resurrection

puncturing      mind’s                  eye-

let             pressing on              jingles

sifting    down                           to dust

studied          still                   whether

rarified                                    or   not

the      childhood                   cumulus

folded      in                          short cuts

of    clips                                  nose-to

dirt                            the woodlands …


mummified                               the bird

spells     travesty                   choosing

the                         one-legged      frog

the pond                           it    jumps in

nevermore                                        its

burial                                   in red mud

gravity-spun                             circuits

of words                           writ      large

burning                        in    earthworks

a birth song                                 dawn

shut            within                              a

lisp                     touchless              lost

ocher               frog                        dove

from   grunge rock                    window-

sill                sun                scissoring on



the problem                          not    being

of rock                                  or   surface

solids                          they     crept    on

a frog’s     lily                                    just

pleats               crimps                     now

eyeless                                   creaturely

beginning                                  as       if

paper         trailed                         secret

folds                               of tethered feet



the windowsill                              cleaves

the mist                                   deepening

valleys                              a homecoming

the alcove                                  its far end

along        what                             creases

the wings, feet                          all of them

the lighted       sill’s                        antiques

dust              traces                             dead

flies       but                          with real wings

Rebecca Lilly holds degrees from Cornell (MFA, Poetry) and Princeton (PhD, Philosophy) universities. Her collection of prose poems, Creatures Among Us, was published by Broadstone Books in August 2019.