Is that a strand of gray you see?
What does the mirror say, if not that you are
not what you seem to be, not what
you think? You are vapor
poured into a vase, delivered
in smoke and sharp angles, a wolf
in bear’s skin, howling and hairy
to another face in the distance,
a leopard king, a goat. Which animal
within you will appear without skin,
without a furnace to contain your rage?
Where is the mantle to keep your calm?
Where is your crown?
Elizabeth Burk is a psychologist who divides her time between a practice in New York and a home in southwest Louisiana. She is the author of three collections: Learning to Love Louisiana, Louisiana Purchase. and Duet—Photographer and Poet, a collaboration with her photographer husband. Her poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Rattle, Calyx, The Southern Poetry Anthology, About Place, Naugatuck River Review, Gyroscope, Louisiana Literature, Passager and elsewhere.