[Here is Your Mirror…] by Sarah Maclay

Here is your mirror, because you can’t see: how the quick-blossoming petals feel/fill the
whole body as rosebuds explode in the breast—pressing, but gently, up into the flesh.
Behind the knees we begin to see fire as they flutter against the inside of the forehead,
ruffle the crevice surrounding your heart while the skin holds them in like a girdle,
stretched smooth—oh body oh sack full of roses—in the thrum of the belly, they thrive /
they impinge on the skin of the sack of the scrotum and, equally, fingers get tangled,
abuzz, in plump petals—loud sweetness—they press to the soles of the feet.

Here is the falling that’s really a flying. Here is the humming and churring of bees,
corollas inviting a chorus of honey, a nest thin as ash—but not ash, not ash—until, when
you look, you can no longer see your reflection:

the eyes—they are nothing but roses—

both “I”s in the mirror—unfolding, quick-blossoming roses of green.
My dear—can you see—there is nothing to fling.


Sarah Maclay’s newest release is Music for the Black Room. Her poems and criticism appear in APR, Ploughshares, FIELD, The Writer’s Chronicle, Poetry Daily, The Best American Erotic Poems: 1800 to the Present, and Poetry International. She teaches at LMU. In 2013, The HuffPost named her one of five American poets to watch.