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Your Glass Face

a poem by Isabel Newcom, Junior English Major


I knew you once,

In a dream.

Hazy fog settling over

Our blank, lifeless living room

Like the mist that settled over the lake

On that night you turned your face

To the stars and knew

Wanting to live was nothing more than a piss poor destiny.

Life support is just a blinking

Red button that you stared at endlessly

With your unseeing brown eyes -

Or were they blue or orange or red -

Wondering how hard you would have to pull

To bathe your glass face in darkness.

Your life felt like a mosaic:

Ridges of broken colors fused together

Under my trembling palms,

Yet your glass face existed

Without a single scratch,

Without a single defining feature.

No nose

No teeth

No eyes

Just glass warping the light of

A blinking red button reflected in the past.

Had I known you back then,

Fell to my knees in front of you and wailed

Like a mother who lost a child in a bloody war,

Neither of us could have survived.

You would have choked on your hate,

And I on my love.

Where would that get either of us but dead?

One look at your empty, stoic face,

Too young to ask and too young to tell,

Would have broken us both like fine china

Shattered against a linoleum floor.

I never knew you, and you’ll never know me.

So, now, all I can say is,

“I knew you once,

In a dream.”

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