Self-Portrait in a Shard of Glass by Yvonne Zipter

Self-Portrait in a Shard of Glass
For Sukie

On the ground behind the pet store,
a piece of broken mirror shaped
like a scimitar blade. I bend to look at it.
Only my eyes, nose, and the rind
of my orange knit cap are visible,
my face cut in half, ear to ear,
my head circled by a halo of green
that bleeds down the blade to its tip.
On the heel end, a slice of blue sky,
bleached clear by sunlight. Not since
before they plucked that scrap of uterus
from my gut have I felt whole. Flaws
in the glass scrap like a wall of smoke
between me and the world render my eyes
unseeable, my cheek erased, my mouth
lost at the sharp edge of the shatter—
a semblance of me. But me, nevertheless.


Yvonne Zipter is the author of the poetry collections The Wordless Lullaby of Crickets, Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound, The Patience of Metal, and Like Some Bookie God. Her published poems are currently being sold individually in Chicago in two repurposed toy-vending machines, the proceeds of which are donated to the nonprofit arts organization Arts Alive Chicago. She is also the author of the nonfiction books Diamonds Are a Dyke’s Best Friend and Ransacking the Closet and the Russian historical novel Infraction. She is retired from the University of Chicago Press, where she was a manuscript editor.

Leave a Reply