On long summer afternoons when I was a child,
I would pop open the mirrored doors of the medicine cabinets,
and angle them enough to let light bounce between
them. Forty-five degrees at first, just enough to see
the back of my head reflected once or twice,
then closer until my heads filled the grid to infinity,
then closer still, too narrow to fit between the glass panes.
Peering into the crack, one eye closed, all reflected noses,
I would wonder,
If I could press myself thin enough,
could I slip through that greenish-grey hallway
and walk until I found a forest of heads?
Could I step out of the mirror into another house to find the face
that also spent afternoons kneeling on slick bathroom counters?
If I could walk through these mirrored hallways,
would I ever meet another ring of noses, or wander, lost,
only find the restless ones who came in here to hide
from their sins, still followed by ant trails of their past,
never to escape?
What’s the lonelier prison: a Midwestern town
of paint-peeling churches and tattered American flags,
or infinite hallways, where light hangs like damp blankets?
Southern Illinois University
Rebekah Durig is a poet, playwright and mathematician, and a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University. Her full-length play, Lewis and the House of Cards, was performed this spring there. She will be pursuing her master’s in the fall, and is spending the summer as a theater intern in the Berkshires. rebekahdurigwrites.com