Salve’-DePesch ~ The Temple of Flesh

Shalott steps out of a mirror

She hates this place
Mirrors
mirrors everywhere
And not a drop to . . .

This mirror makes her look fat
This one makes her lips look . . . poutty
This is one of those that bends you everywhich way

In this mirror she
is comparing herself to others
In this one she is always alone

This one says
“Diet
Stay out of the Sun
Men don’t make passes
at girls who wear . . .”

Shalott turns away

“Start an exercise program
Play sports
Eat healthy food”

This one says “Straighten up
Smile and look straight ahead
You’ll look and feel more confident”
She tries it
It doesn’t work

There
Did you see that?
Just as she turned
she caught a glimpse . . .
Something . . .
someone was in one of the mirrors
But when she looked right at it
all she could see was herself

She turns to walk down the hall
and runs right into a mirror
Thump

She thinks about it
Extends her hand
And turns back

Damn
There it was again
The gypsy woman?

“OK
Come out
I know you’re in here . . .”

Nothing
This mirror looks like rippling water
And she can’t make out her own reflection

“You can come out now . . .
Look
All I have to do is drop the bead in my hand
And I’m out of here . . .
So . . .”

She turns to face a mirror
with no apparent distortion
She can see her whole body
The outline on the left gets fuzzy
And her great aunt Alice detaches

She sees lines in the kind old face
She sees things she never saw before
She discovers that she loves this woman
with all of her heart

“Alice?”
“Don’t be so hard on her . . .”

“Hard on who?”
“You know she is a good little girl
I can just tell about these things . . . ”

“Alice
Hey . . . look at me
Yes
Hi
Tell me what’s the problem”

“I don’t care about that old mirror
I never liked it
And she was so upset
I just wanted to tell her
That I loved her
And I didn’t care about the . . .
Dear are you crying?”
“Yes mam . . .”

“Oh Shalott don’t cry
There really no point . . .
You know what dear
Cry all you want
A good cry is what we all need from time to time”
“Thank you mam”

“How are you . . .”
“But Aunt Alice
I am a bad person . . .”

“Hush
Now none of that . . .”
“But I’ve hurt people and
I am so alone . . . and . . .”

“Honey
You aren’t alone
Try getting old . . .
Now that will make you feel alone”
“But Aunt Alice . . .
It was my fault . . .”

“Your fault
You Dad was an asshole
And your mom was too concerned about herself”
“Alice . . .
I’ve never heard you talk . . . ”

“High time you did then”
“But I broke your mirror”

“No problem
My mother-in-law gave me the awful thing
I always hated it
Why do you think it was in the attic?”
“But I blamed the doll”

“Did you think I was so stupid . . .”
“No . . . I am sorry”

“Hey
I was glad you didn’t cut yourself”
“Thank you . . .”

“Honey
What’s the problem?”
“I am so alone
Weren’t you alone?”

“Shalott
I had you
Even when you wasn’t there
I could feel you . . .
Oh child
You were my salvation . . .”
“Aunt Alice . . .
I never knew . . .”

“Kinda makes you wish
You’d paid more attention, huh?”
“Yes . . .”

“Honey you’re never alone . . .”
“How’s that?”

“I’m inside you little one
How can you ever be alone?”

Published by

Chyfrin the Celtic poet

Artist, Poet, Electrical/Biomedical Engineer, Actor, Playwright, Set construction, Educator, Lover of womankind and single malt scotch

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