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the second self.

Captives to a seeing,
we hold our ground
for fear that in looking away
we might loose ourselves.
Perspectives collide,
springing from the dust of our minds
the stale metaphors
of long forgotten dogmas.

Reason, thy conspiracy is thick
with the blood of lost souls
and cities;
whole peoples buried in the glance
of foreign categories,
stuffed into shells of pseudo-

Here, and across this decade
I have seen a thousand faces of
discontent, flashing in the passing
window; laughing selfishly from a
subway door; mocking my eyes
deep in brown solitude, and teasing
this apprehension to recall
its own countenance.

Nay, there is never a stranger
look than this greeting my own
reflection.   Who are you?
I sing a word
a note
the lips move
and a distant memory
dances across the shadow
of the tortured face
in the mirror.


© hok, February 25, 1993