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It is easy to spend a lifetime studying yourself in a mirror that is inconsistent with time.

It is easy to wear many eyes and to look at the knobs of your ankles, the little freckles on your shins, to study your thighs, the little blades of your hips, the mark beside your belly button, in hazel, green, blue, brown, in wide and oblivious, in slanted and dark, in clever, in probing eyes. But you will never see yourself as the worn pair of boots, that fragile question that you may be.

It is impossible to press your soul through that door and stare at your empty body through the crack in the worn wood.

You can whisper to the walls, listen to the dissonant echoes that travel back to you. You can count your heartbeats. You can run your fingers up your neck and over and into your invisible hair.

You can write a plea, in careful black ink,

and slip it under the door.

You are closed up in the absolute forward trajectory of your own breathing body, your own hopeful soul. You can open up the door, but no one will see you in your hollow skin made up of the cells of desire—to be studied, to be filled up. You will just be a pair of worn, dusty boots.

It is impossible to document everything, and impossible to escape the continuity of your personal experience, but easy to spend gray days sitting with your ear against the door, listening to someone live another life. You can never see that naked body stark white against the blaring light of your projected expectations. 

You can never touch that naked body raw, strum against the nerves like an old fashioned music box, the little springs pinging against each silver peg. 

You will never make love like the sad song you heard, first in your own home and later at the Cathedral, in the dirty square, and then, humming through the soles of your feet. You can strip naked and press yourself to the door, but you will never know the feeling of that

strange dark person’s fingertips, soft against an almost perfect hand, you will not see the waking dreams that flitted across their closed eyes, no matter how melodic, how clean and sensual those thoughts may have been.

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