Inquiry: Facing your face, the facsimile in the mirror

by LJ Frank

When I was younger I always thought

my face in the mirror was just a facsimile of me,

the real me was the one that was doing the looking

so as a balance to the surface of things I grew my mind

and then a recent birthday occurred.

I approached the mirror as if I was forty

while shaving and watching my beard wash down the drain

like past faces never fully reaching their possibility

My lips moved, “I don’t feel like the facsimile in the mirror,”

exercise, vitamins, patronage of a spa, prayers,

crossing a desert, climbing a mountain, bathing in artesian springs,

and being in places too uncertain to process deep thoughts,

experience alters the face as does time,

perhaps I’ll put on my sunglasses and find some beach to walk

and meditate on meanings while the surf chills my feet,

but then evening arrived.

I was visiting an art museum to attend a wine tasting

while sipping a blend of Cabernets’ Sauvignon and Franc

and fingering through my mind’s archive of past lives

I looked up to see someone vaguely familiar

wearing a wide grin below the wrinkles around her eyes

she mentioned she knew me from decades ago

and we kissed the other’s cheek,

an immediate warmth ensued

so we talked as old friends do

and then after our lengthy, intimate conversation

came a blushing realization  –

we had really never met each other before

though our faces suggested otherwise

or perhaps it was the contours of a facsimile.