A Radical Truth


“We always feel younger than we are.

I carry inside myself my earlier faces, as a tree contains its rings.

The sum of them is ‘me’.

The mirror sees only my latest face while I know all my previous ones.”

Tomas Transtromer



One previous face, nose wrinkling at

the gluey smooth smell of candy on my hands

in the schoolyard…


Another, at the supper table,

child’s mouth squinching up in disgust

at asparagus,

at the sink,

at the feel of fried egg crust

wrapping itself around my fingers,

coffee grounds between my fingers

in the dishwater.


Another, staring

into the bathroom mirror for hours,

worried that the face was too round,

the nose too big.


Fate’s face, fat and funny,

Fine wrinkles around the eyes, cheeks

Pocked with pimple scars,

Oh smooth face, fair as flour, when did you leave me?





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