I slide my face along to the mirror
sideways, to see
that side-smile,
a pale look, tired
and sly. Hey,

who is glancing there?
Shadow-me, not with
malice but mercurially
shot with foreknowledge of
dread and sweat.

Denise Levertov


Seeing For A Moment

I thought I was growing wings—
it was a cocoon.


I thought, now is the time to step
into the fire—
it was deep water.


Eschatology is a word I learned
as a child: the study of Last Things;


facing my mirror—no longer young,
       the news—always of death,
       the dogs—rising from sleep and clamoring
            and howling, howling,


I see for a moment
that’s not it: it is
the First Things.


Word after word
floats through the glass.

Towards me.

Denise Levertov