With One Glance
–Charles SimicThat mirror understood everything about me
As I raised the razor to my face.
Oh, dear God!
What a pair of eyes it had!
The eyes that said to me:
Everything outside this moment is a lie.*As I looked out of the window today
At some trees in the yard,
A voice in my head whispered:
Aren’t they something?Not one leaf among them stirring
In the heat of the afternoon.
Not one bird daring to peep
And make the hand of the clock move again.*
Or how about the time when the stormTore down the power lines on our streetAnd I lit a match and caught a glimpseOf my face in the dark windowpane
With my mouth fallen open in surprise
At the sight of one tooth in front
Waiting like a butcher in his white apron
For a customer to walk through his door.
It made me think of the way a hand
About to fall asleep reaches out blindly
And suddenly closes over a fly,
And remains tightly closed,
Listening for a buzz in the room,
Then to the silence inside the fist
As if it held in it an undertaker
Taking a nap inside a new coffin.