Glass Darkly

Our first home’s previous owner 

laid mousetraps laced with mirror shards 

to make mice look at themselves 

before feeding their faces. My father hated it

the way you hate what is yours, 

hate what reflects on you, those bodies 

of blood-stuck glass shining

like diamonds that shit themselves. 

In each glass jaw he saw 

his own mouth hung open,

his cheeks coated in peanut butter.

Poor thing, he said—poverty is always 

a violent act—and with a dustpan 

and black garbage bag, collected himself.


Matthew Gilbert, a white, bearded individual with short brown hair and glasses, wearing a steel blue collared shirt in front of bushes.

Matthew Gilbert’s work has appeared in Narrative Magazine, PANK, Sugar House Review, Redivider, and elsewhere. They live in Connecticut, and measure the general success of life by the ratio of trees to people wherever they happen to be.