Micki Myers


Rembrandt, he thinks to himself
as he paints, applying the dabs
under his eyes which will show
how much he has aged,
your students will hate you.

Every day, he has them copy
every move he makes
so that like flesh machines,
they churn out snapshots

of his face. If they question
his methods, he tells them:
don't be fooled by the medium;
you are mirror-makers, and
the canvas is your glassy plate.

His reflection brings into focus
all of his mistakes.
In every line, grief of one kind
or another, in every shadow

a child who lived but days.
Three times he named a daughter
Cornelia, as if copying her
could defer her fate.
Only Titus remains.

In the afternoon light,
the glass cracks
under memory's oily weight.

Micki Myers' work has been published widely and received three Pushcart Prize nominations; her first book of poetry, Trigger Finger, won the Pearl Poetry Prize, and her second, It's Probably Nothing... was recently published by Simon & Schuster. She writes the cookbook blog Yuckylicious and can be found online at mickimyers.com.

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