Cubist Woman at Her Mirror

She revises a morning
while renewing her face.
She moves her eyes
south and west
to almost meet.

With delicate impasto
she traces only one
corner of her curled mouth,
allowing light to do her work.

Then, staring at the reflection
of misplaced features she
lets one artful drip
find its way to her chin.

The sun is up.
Her mirror snaps closed.

Mark J. Mitchell studied writing at UC Santa Cruz under Raymond Carver, George Hitchcock and Barbara Hull. His work has appeared in various periodicals over the last thirty five years, as well as the anthologies Good Poems, American Places, Hunger Enough, Retail Woes and Line Drives. It has also been nominated for both Pushcart Prizes and the Best of the Net. He is the author of two full-length collections, Lent 1999 (Leaf Garden Press) and Søren Kierkegaard Witnesses an Execution (Local Gems) as well as two chapbooks, Three Visitors (Negative Capability Press) and Artifacts and Relics (Folded Word). His novel, Knight Prisoner, is available from Vagabondage Press and two more novels are forthcoming: A Book of Lost Songs (Wild Child Publishing) and The Magic War (Loose Leaves). He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the documentarian and filmmaker Joan Juster, where he makes a living showing people pretty things in his city.

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