Size / / /

It isn't really absent from the mirror—

just many times removed.

Think of a computer's hard drive,

imagine a file, or many files,

deleted but not really gone;

a skilled hacker can disinter them.

Or picture an old, pre-digital camera:

think of double exposures

doubled and redoubled,

layer after folded layer,

an endless origami.

Could it be that all those he has fed on,

now part of him,

have begun to usurp his identity?

Or, at least, take away

the part of him

that struggles to be born inside the mirror?

These faces, these lives,

obliterated,

can't be seen clearly

but clearly are effacing his.

Perhaps these others,

no more than a blur at best,

come into focus in his daydreams,

small nuisances,

mosquitoes feeding while he sleeps.

Later, he wakes to the moon's glassy stare,

wondering why he feels hungrier

after each night, each feeding,

than he was the night before.




Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
2 Jun 2020

Our editors have seen a massive increase in submissions from writers since the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to be able to read and publish that work.
We didn’t want your nail clippings or your blood. Your laughter, or tears, would do.
They say that the Voyagers will outlast us for billions of years.
as if I wouldn’t wish to get all my deaths over with at once instead of waiting in dirt
In place of fear that they will lose control, the posthumans accept that control was never in their grasp and that the natural world extends beyond their reach and that nature has a beauty that is beyond the human.
Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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By: Dana Wilde
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Issue 18 May 2020
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Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
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Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
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By: Raimo Kangasniemi
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Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
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By: L. D. Lewis
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Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
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By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
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Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
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By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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By: Nome Emeka Patrick
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Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
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By: Tara Calaby
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By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
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