In the sideview mirror of my car
through the morning fog I saw a human skull
that had to be my face, where the headlights
of the car behind me should have been,
or a morning star. I did not think
to step on the gas and race away from the skull
I knew it wasn’t behind me. Still it had me by the throat.
I can tell a raven from a crow,
a female evergreen from a male,
but I can’t tell visionary bone from ghost.
I’m used to my eyes fibbing to me,
5s are sometimes 8s, 2s, 3s.
I know the Chinese character for the word “nature”
is a nose that stands for breathing — life.
I need to see an ancient nose in the mirror.