The Smirking Man

by Mary E. Lowd

A Deep Sky Anchor Original


I see broken pieces of you
Sharp and catching
All around in the world
The way a turn of phrase
Twists in a singer’s voice
The smirk on an actor’s face
The moment when a character
In a long running TV show
Surprises everyone
(Everyone but me)
With his sudden
(To everyone but me)
Casually careless cruelty
And I feel vindicated
And I say
That’s him
That’s what I mean
That’s why I was scared
And yet
The shards are embedded
Safely ensconced
In the swaddling walls of a TV
Trapped inside a radio
Where they can’t hurt me
And so
(I hate to admit it)
I like them
(Because I miss you)
And I hate you
But it’s better when you exist this way

A cloud of traits
Dispersed in the world

And I hope
I never see
The real you


Will this poem hurt you?
Will you read it?
Why does it bother me that I don’t know?

You decided
(And I decided)
A long time ago

It’s possible to be both
Better than
And not as good
At once

And you replaced me
(With a new family)
And I built a family of my own

You’re not in it
But the shape of you
Where you would have been…
I can’t cut a cutout
Out of my life

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *