The Mirror by Lytton Bell


“The Mirror” by Lytton Bell


Look into the mirror and do not flinch

You can see Death now rubbing her hands together

spotted, wrinkled, bulging with veins

engulfing every part of you without judgment


You’re a woman with no past

always threading her needles on the first try

a flurry of diet pills and designer jeans

never to be all you might have been


You could be lost and not know it

a castle with no drawbridge, no welcome

and nothing rustles when you move

and the answer never came


You can be Shakespeare for five minutes

see how the sun rose when you lifted your hand?

It glows in you no matter where you are

in the man you love, now quietly removing his pants


his gleaming desire swelling

seeking to fill and be filled

You are taller than lightning

How the world must have glittered beneath you!


A hand twisting the golden knob of a door

caressing you anonymously

Now, walk the path with your pulse in your throat

Listen: this is your prayer


the stoplight eternally stuck on green

with your name etched right into its crystal skin

asks you with a voice of peaches and rain

Are you ever jealous of the cool hush of the emerald forest?


Every bird you see is a prayer

When they see you coming, they hunch like vultures

swiping a tender wing over a clutch of bright blue eggs

You were the breeze that wasn’t there


I hear you tell your reflection

Flame inside my own soul, I refuse to fear you

the magic moves when you move

so it never has to feel left behind


Your reflection asks you back:

Did you think of me with your last breath?

And you whisper

Not even you can see me



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Lytton Bell Artist Statement:

Lytton Bell has published five books: A Path before Winter (1998), The Book
of Chaps (2002), Nectar (2011), Poetica Erotica, Volume 1 (2012) and Body
Image (2013), won eight poetry contests and has been the featured reader at
many California literary venues. Her work has appeared in over six dozen
publications. She is a founding member of the poetry performance troupe
Poetica Erotica. As a teenager, Lytton won a scholarship to the Pennsylvania
Governor’s School for the Arts, where she studied with Deb Burnham of the
American Poetry Review and the late Len Roberts, author of The Silent Singer.
Lytton graduated magna cum laude from Bryn Mawr College. She is a civil
servant by day. Email her at

Author: A Room of Her Own

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