If you look back, you’ll soon
be going that way.



I’m inching along this edifice
gargoyles hulking ‘round each ledge
and at every cornerstone.
Their statue mouths
adrenaline dread
into forearms – mine,
prepped now with freezing chill.

Each one smiles knowingly
waiting for the go ahead
to nudge my legs over the edge.

“Hello there!” I say with forced gusto.
“Don’t look back now,
but the balustrade is completely filled
and they all look just like you.”

The eyes shift,
(all it takes for gargoyles to wield control)
betraying a hint of confusion,
or perhaps I’ve caught them unawares.

“What?” I continue, growing braver,
“Nothing back there but a funhouse of mirrors?”

Their eyes bulge forth now
into monsters
begging me to resist.
Instead, I laugh
all at once bulletproof
(or nearly so).

is the shining armor
upon which mirror reveals mirror
merely reflecting illusions.
Relief and release
are the antidotes showing the way forward.


Fortune Cookie Poems Copyright © 2022 by Stephanie Mirocha. All Rights Reserved.