The Woman in the Mirror

a mirror set in a tree
Call me Elisheba—he did, from the moment he entered,
minutes after the marriage, eager for consummation.
He said it over and over, wrapping me in the word, tonguing
til it curved into “mother of his sons” and I began to swell
with all I’d swallowed of his seed and dreams:
his star-love, his precise fingers. Once I whispered “Aaron
and he hushed me, firm hand above, questions below,
opening my passage.
My sister handed me a mirror as a present, flat,
polished. So different from the twin reflections in his
shining eyes. Let it be known, I wasn’t ready to be
seen apart from wife, apart from mother, apart from
lineage. Later, when his brother demanded every disk
gold, silver, even bronze, I gave mine eagerly. Making
Mishkan from the faces we couldn’t, shouldn’t notice.
Silently. Wordlessly. Never again willing to reflect until
my granddaughter’s eyelids parted.
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