The Manchester Review
J.T. Welsch
Four Poems
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The Mirror Stage

There I am, Lord Leighton’s
Flaming June, blu-tacked
at the foot of the bed, a trick
of perspective in the fuzzy,

Pre-Raphaelite light of dawn.
Back from where our toes meet,
urged by the kiss in every crease
of that eponymous silk flame,

I expand into thighs drawn up
toward such a torso. More than
the obvious spill of hair, I feel
sea air moving over my arms

and my jaw from a window
not behind my dreaming head.
Nothing completely breaks the
spell. I choose to remain hopeful.