.”..if you do not know yourselves
then you are in poverty,
and you are the poverty.”
logion 3, The Gospel of Thomas
Emptying pockets rattle and scatter coins on top of the dresser.
Facing me, an obtrusive, unwelcome ever-present mirror.
But, I cannot look away, drawn, centered, within paint chipped borders.
The right side of the dresser is a stack of black-and-white family photos,
mixed in with a bunch of sticky colored Polaroid’s of a motorcycle weekend.
Penny arcades at Weirs Beach, and blurry ones of a start-up rock and roll band,
jammin’ at the Beanstalk variety store. It’s still at the junction of route 106 and Canterbury road.
I can hear the screeching tires on the curves of Gunstock, and the giggling lovemaking
in the pup tents between laps. The racers often change the lead
before the lovers would press themselves arm and arm, back to the fence again.
I can see in their Polaroid eyes, no one really cared except to be there.
It was a black and white transition then.
On The left side, pushed up against the mirror, an old mason jar
half-full with silver coins. Nickels, dimes, quarters,
and one unspent Kennedy half-dollar. A permanent resident,
since I found that light blue jar in a bottle dump I spotted,
hitchhiking down a desolate country road;
with that half-dollar for luck, and confidence to leave
where I had been staying without knowing where I was going.
On the floor beside the dresser, getting harder to push aside,
sits a fading bluish plastic water cooler jug,
three-quarters full of pennies.
I begin to sort copper from silver and silver from copper. Jar vs. jug.
I smile at myself trying to find something that I may have forgotten in my pockets,
something, with at least one digit to fold. The mirror and I stare and listen
to each distinctive clink and thud, fade into its appropriate bowl.