It is that time of year again, the day my guests are set to arrive, 

dressed in sequins, as royals are adorned.  

My yearly tradition ensues: I remove all the mirrors from my house.  

The removing of mirrors allows a congenial spirit in the room to be felt  

as people begin to enter, filling in the chairs as they are arranged in a circle.

 Commotion of the onlookers turns to silence as the conversation begins.  


Stop noticing the way you look into empty space

pent up and not getting the cue. 


We’re not who we really think we are. 


And still shared experience stands alone—  


that dream I remember feels like it actually happened 

as I lie in bed on the edge of falling asleep. 

This line is blurred by the sounds that begin to appear

not in actuality but as some figment leftover from the heaviness

of my last meal of the day,


so that it becomes apparent on the next day I’m on the job

that I’ve become a spy for mankind. 


Cardboard continues to be weighed down by the rain. 

Who has become the subject of this specter? 


Perhaps it is the UPS driver who is next in line for this sequencing of automation 

like the genome, like the binary of computer code,

which allows me to become 16 years old again,

bound to my heart’s first soliloquy, rambling about absolutely nothing.  


Look at the UPS driver again carrying all of our collective weight. 

I know his name now; it’s been so many years. 


When he sees my address, the boxes are all delivered with a small piece of paper reminding me of what to order next, 

demanding me to make a decision quickly. 

The floor is pulled from under me, followed by some kind of paring knife that is drawn, 

meant for peeling oranges, small enough to be carried around with you at all times. 


Following this is an embrace again, as I order a new set of Mattel toy soldiers molded carefully to scale.  

I’ve seemed to convince myself of just the opposite. 

That somehow my growth spurt had happened evenly, that I, too, was growing to scale. 

This couldn’t possibly be true, the spurt happened in just a few weeks, 

the murmurings I hear turn into words that are parsed out and formed into disconnected sentences.  

Finally, you asked me that question! 

A guest remarks as they stare past me and at the kettle on the stove: 

the last handmade artifact I own, forged from bronze and passed down from one generation to the next.  


Now, new threads can get made out in the head. 

The ceiling becomes the Sistine chapel.  

Looking up now, the stain glass is painted again  

as the conversation moves around the room. 


It was only Ex Post Facto that I was glad 

for never paying attention to the words that were said. 

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