Mirror, Mirror

By Tom Healy b. 1961 Tom Healy
What do we do when we hate our bodies?
A good coat helps.
Some know how to pull off a hat.

And there are paints, lighting, knives, needles,
various kinds of resignation,
the laugh in the mirror, the lie

of saying it doesn’t matter.
There is also the company we keep:
surgeons and dermatologists,

faith healers and instruction-givers,
tailors of cashmere and skin
who send their bills for holding

our shame-red hands, raw
from the slipping rope,
the same hands with which we tremble

ever so slightly, holding novels in bed,
concentrating on the organization
of pain and joy

we say is another mirror,
a depth, a conjure in which we might meet
someone who says touch me.

Tom Healy, “Mirror, Mirror” from What the Right Hand Knows. Copyright © 2009 by Tom Healy. Reprinted by permission of Four Way Books.

Source: What the Right Hand Knows (Four Way Books, 2009)

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Poet Tom Healy b. 1961

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Nature, The Body, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Life Choices

Poetic Terms Free Verse


Tom Healy was raised on a farm in Mount Vision, New York. He earned a BA in philosophy from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. His first collection of poetry, What the Right Hand Knows (2009), was a finalist for the L.A. Times Book Award and the Lambda Literary Award in Poetry.
Of Healy’s spare yet evocative poems, poet Carol Muske-Dukes commented in the Huffington Post: “From the . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, The Body, Social Commentaries, Popular Culture, Life Choices

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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