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After Julio Cortazar
    When you set up a mirror on the western side of your garden,
   it runs forward. When you set one up on the eastern side
   of the garden, it runs backwards. You may discover the point
   at which the mirror runs behind, but finding the mirror works
   correctly is no guarantee, as mirrors are subject to the defects
   of their kind, and may not act the way they truly want to.
   So that your husband, a professor on sabbatical from the local
   university, looking in the mirror, having not shaven in seven
   weeks, sees himself wrapped in hospital sheets, dead of
   tuberculosis at age 76--this was on the eastern side of the garden,
   and at the same time a seven-foot mirror you had forgotten
   on the western side of your garden (it had been tucked along
   the koi pond and bougainvillea) reflected your husband as a boy
   in cutoff jeans driving a busted pencil down his plaster cast,
   then your husband in an aloe grove pulling a string of bees
   from his teeth. And that night, in the bedroom beside him,
   watching his chest rise and fall, the sliver of the moon
   drop its ashes on the summer garden, there was no one
   but yourself in the mirrors below: 18 years old, bedded down
   in a pickup on a length of plywood inside an antique frame,
   where all around you dogs slink from the marshes as you left
   the marshes for the city. Jefferson County, Louisiana, 1976.
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Author:Cotton, Colby
Article Type:Poem
Date:Mar 22, 2018
Next Article:FEDEX FOR LIFE.

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