The beveled mirrors hold you open to the sky. Reglazed and lit to dazzle. Sometimes I am waltzing with you there. Your wig elaborate and winged with birds. The woman in the painting next door runs through the pasture wild, unbridled. How I always want you this way. Gleaming teeth, eyes that spark and gallop. We are in worlds split, untimed, and tragic. So stop tapping at the glass because I cannot take you. I raise my hand to touch your hand to still you there. (Oh the tapping.) We look beside ourselves, and I become your mouth moving so quickly, and you become my finger against these lips. The carousel keeps us fixed in place. I want to tell you this thing about the way you dance inside me. Endless. The circles. No sound.
Jen Rouse is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Cornell College. Her poems have appeared in Poetry, Gulf Stream, Parentheses, Cleaver, Up the Staircase, Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. Rouse is a two-time finalist for the Charlotte Mew Prize. Headmistress Press has published her books Acid and Tender, CAKE, and Riding with Anne Sexton. Find her at jen-rouse.com and on Twitter @jrouse.