Server at a diner in Nowhere, Oklahoma

Lately I feel like a Hopper girl, face
turned away from the happening, adrift
between birth—that inaugural death—
and after. Mostly I worry my hair
is thinning. Glances in the murky glass
partitions confirm I might exist: real

or not, it seems that I’m not really
here, as echoed by the busted clock face
telling time. Stalled. Like the shattering glass
of the window, car skittering, long drift
through suspended night. That eddying hairs-
breadth of sinking snow. Now I await Death’s

arrival; at each door chime, I death-
grip the counter, the sudden bluff realer
than my own hands fiddling in fine hair.
I know at some point I will have to face
it. Forsake this peripheral time-drift
to peer backward; enter the looking glass

to see-not-see my sister . . . Wire glass
frames slowly slipping down. Her loud, death-
gasp laughter startling to life from drifty
stories one could never be sure were real.
Julia Roberts’s nose on her sunbright face.
Her grief after shearing off her doll’s hair

as a young girl, first awareness that hair—
like many givens—reveals itself a glass
promise eventually. The lost face
she wore seeking my eyes, certain that death
could not come before he was called: unreal
until the moment one decides to drift

nowhere. Not in this Nowhere. That drifting
abstract, sheerer than the pelt of a hare,
that unforgiving place where people reveal
who they always were—mirages in glass
so briefly alight. Seldom I wish Death
chose me. But disappearing in that face

turns time real; it halts the chime adrift
on air. I unhide my face from my hair
to gaze again at the glass death-stare.