Gluing the Atoms


More space than matter,

I wonder why I haven’t

drifted apart from myself

(though to be true,

I have more than once),

gluing the atoms together

and forming what I thought

I should be or what

everyone else thought I was.

Not recognizing the image

that stares at me from

the computer screen,

I gaze into silver-backed glass

and see a distorted etching of a face

that seems pale and unfamiliar,

with thinner lips, more lines,

and a lost fragrance

I can still smell

through the mirror

that is fogged with age,

(an act of kindness, after all).



Joanne Zarrillo Cherefko

Award-winning educator and published poet: A Consecration of the Wind, Fragmented Roots, and Souls Tilled Like Soil. Website: