The Reflection of a Nearly Dead Animal in a Vulture’s Eyes


      the best way to test whether a mirror is one way glass

      is to press your finger to its surface & see if the images connect


revision: the best way to test whether a mirror is one way glass

is to press your mouth to the glass & see if you taste the trapped

on the way your lips kiss back


      at night animal eyes are all mirror / all glint / forest become still life

      of blink & hunger / become wall of reflections / stars staining tinted glass


near-death is a word bloated with relativity / beached jellyfish splayed open

over dark sand / body fat with light / beauty reduced to mechanism for survival


      revision: the night’s eye is bloated with light / splayed over body


interrogate comes from the Latin roots inter [between] + rogare [to speak]

this captures none of the violence of this word


      early philosophers believed that all light came from within / human eyes

      that vision was simply the reflection / of fire that began within us


reflection comes from the Latin root reflectere [to bend back] / perhaps this word

knew in birth the violence of its name


      revision: the reflection speaks / in bending back the light / our mouths

      bloated with guilt / this too a reflection / perhaps the dark of the eye

      is a confessional


perhaps near-death is a different word in the mouth of the hunter / perhaps guilt

is the same / silence is every species’ first language / a mechanism for survival

torrin a. greathouse is a genderqueer trans woman & cripple-punk from Southern California. Her work is published/forthcoming in Bettering American Poetry, Muzzle, Redivider, BOAAT, Waxwing, The Offing, Frontier, & Michigan Quarterly Review. She is the author of two chapbooks, Therǝ is a Case That I Ɐm (Damaged Goods, 2017) & boy/girl/ghost (TAR Chapbook Series, 2018). When they are not writing, their hobbies include pursuing a bachelors degree, awkwardly drinking coffee at parties,& trying to find some goddamn size 13 heels.