Robert Whitehead

The villainy was
being found

The other man
only took me

to where
I could be robbed.
In the mirror

I opaqued,
I seemed
alterable as a horizon.

When I tried to wave
a stranger
waved backó

What do you want
with me?
The other man

had me zip into
one too many costumes,
told me

to imagine the stone face
under which
a blank deity

arranges its charms.
I touched
not him

but the image of him.
Then I saw
the boundary

fleetingly iridesce,
a split screen
undoing us.

I was lost
a moment
at the tall altar of crisis.

I was
the starry cope
under which the promise

of restoration
set down
its dark terms:

what do you want
but the brief trap
of being whole,

what wanting are you
when, in your raw

you let the other man
lift up
the tried heart

like an artifact
and place it back down
a lit forge?

Robert Whitehead is a poet living in Brooklyn. More at