POETRY The Hotel Room Mirror ... W.S. DI PIERO
“The Hotel Room Mirror”
W.S. DI PIERO
From Chinese Apples: New and Selected Poems (2007)
But who was it, then, that made her so unhappy?
A half-room, foreshortened even more
in the huge speckled armoire glass,
the distance chopped, uncrossable,
between your image and where I stood
twiddling the doorknob before I knew
my own key didn’t fit, late night,
your interior so underlit
that bluer shadows oozed your forms.
Already too late, the door
breezed open where your back and thighs
twisted in the green-winged chair,
your body’s light coiled, at rest.
Dressed, angled deeper in the surface,
your man pleaded, hands wide, as he flexed
sharp from the bed’s protesting edge,
the sheets pinwheeled beneath his weight.
Your glance and his (haphazard,
stark and unconcerned) found mine
in the frame, waiting, though I stayed
invisible to myself, my stare
like your bold forms inhabiting
our depth of field, in the scuffed glass
transcribed. It was already still
too late to save you or be saved.