Life in a mirror

I sat on the edge
of our bed, the mattress
sinking under my weight
the gun my brother gave me seemed light
its metal buoyant
in the stiff air of my life

pressing the cold barrel
into my ear hammer back
finger heavy on the trigger
ready to scream my life away

but then for some unknown
living reason i looked up
into the mirror and saw
the moonish eyes Father gave me
uneven jaws, my mother's high cheeks
and a childish nose
which looks better from the front
than the side.
that brittle face
a father and husband
but lifeless, in a puddle of blood?

So i put the pistol away
into the safety of its quilted pouch
closed the door
and locked the cabinet

as i passed the mirror
I saw out of the corner of my eye
me walking into life

Previously published in The Windless Orchard

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