optical illusions

objects in the mirror
are closer than they appear.
always check the blind spot
before changing lanes.
are these metaphors for life,
I ask myself?
I don't answer.

the look in your eyes
when you almost drowned.
I knew enough
not to reach for you
but to jump right in
clothes and all.
panic didn't set in
until years later.
this is why I shiver at night.

another pool
many years later.
this time it's empty
save for last autumn's leaves
and a memory of summer
somewhere else.

Paul David Mena
4 December, 1996
Cambridge, MA

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