Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

I can’t remember the last time
I truly saw my reflection.
I’m always avoiding mirrors.
But when I do catch
a glimpse of myself,
it’s not me I’m looking at.
I see a broken man
trying to avoid contact
with my own eyes.
Then I give in and look
and see emptiness.
A clash of green and blue
encircle the darkness,
a black hole of the soul,
a soul that is lost.

My youth was stolen from me.
I notice the flaws,
wrinkles of time
rest on my face.
But I can also see
the burden of life.
Forty years from now,
if I catch my reflection
everything will look different,
except the eyes.

The eyes will forever
be an abyss,
holding memories
until I’m gone
and my eyes close,
never to open again.
No more reflections.

 
Disclaimer: The views in this article are those of the author. The Prison Journalism Project has verified the writer’s identity and basic facts such as the names of institutions mentioned. The work is lightly edited but has not been otherwise fact-checked.

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Ian Shaw

Ian Shaw is a writer of morbid/horror poetry and short stories and is currently working on self-publishing a collection of his writings. He is incarcerated at California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, Calif., and is publishing under a pen name because he feels that his incarceration hurts his chances of being a successful writer.