by Peter McHale, he/him

“You won’t know yourself!”

And I won’t, not really

Though I will try.

Sometimes I almost catch myself

In the mirror, or the splash of an ashen puddle

Or the snatch of someone else’s conversation,

Long before the electrons in my nerves can deliver a message to my brain.

I am forever chasing myself. 

Whatever I am right now accelerates like a beam of photons

And I am left looking at footprints, tyre tracks,

Feeling the warmth of a seat recently occupied,

Assembling nothing but a portrait of who I was an instant ago.

But not what I am now.

I am an anthropologist, guessing at cave paintings.

Ancient fingers traced a figure aeons ago;

And I must decide why.