Reflection by Danny Earl Simmons

Reflection

If I were not afraid

of becoming white, wind-scraped bones
in the dry of a thorny dead ravine
long after hovering and foul feeding;
if I were not afraid

of one turned back after another,
an end to coffeehouse debates,
and never seeing another eye squarely;
if I were not afraid

of shaking hands with her Galahad
every other weekend too soon after the red
fades from her eyes and my stinging cheek;
if I were not afraid

of a bent caney man
looking this way then that
for someone to tend his grave;
if I were not afraid,

I would succumb until golden
passion meets breathless exhaustion –
then break all my mirrors.

by Danny Earl Simmons, first published in The Gold Man Review

Editor’s Note: Fear of pain is a great motivator.