It's just poetry, it won't bite


06.26.20 Posted in today's words by

Anthony Roberts is a veteran of Baltimore and Afghanistan. He is a graduate of The New School in New York City with a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing. His poetry has appeared in The Other Voices Literary AnthologySoutherly Literary Journal, and has been translated into Czech, Persian, Bengali, Hebrew, and Italian. He presently resides in Alexandria, New Jersey, in a home with beautiful views and interlocking fields of fire. His first poetry collection, Pigtown, was well received and he is currently working on additional poetry projects.
By Anthony Roberts
The past remains the past.

Throw a rock at the mirror.
So that you can’t  see what’s behind you
When you can no longer see yourself
all that matters
is what other people see of you
in their own reflection
Maybe you’ll say . . .
I thought I knew him when
devout Catholic boy
certain he’d be a priest
the guilt still consumes him
I thought I knew him when
amazing technicolor mohawk
color courtesy of Wendy Willis
her mom pissed
at the hair dye in the sink
I thought I knew him when
Soldier with shiny jump wings
Corcorans like opal mirrors
reflecting a self assured smile
cigar between his teeth
I thought I knew him when
sommelier, raconteur
the reinvention
shedding the skin
of a home that
had always been
a foreign country
I thought I knew him when
he came home from Afghanistan
medals distracting from
the vacant stare
the space given a veteran
filled by empty scotch bottles
I thought I knew him when
he careened through Greenwich village
spinning apart on a wobbly axis
calling upon Daedalus
to pull him into the sun
I thought I knew him when
they collected the pieces of him
putting him back together
after the booze
was drained out of him
leaving him feeling human
I thought I knew him
but maybe you thought
you knew him better
than he knew himself
maybe we all did
and the mirrors we held up
kept him from seeing

kept him from knowing

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