A Blur in the Binary

By: Alex Fallon

Agnes Scott College, GA, USA

Yawning—Stretching—standing proud for the day.
Warm sunlight trickles through the window
as condensation fogs the mirror.

Stepping out, a cloud of steam follows like a wedding dress.
They dry their feet on the rough mat,
lean forward,
run the towel to catch the drips that journey down their spine.

Walking to the mirror,
they use the towel to free their face from the glass cage.
Squared jaw, thick brows, the lips of ancient gods.

Following the mirror down with their eyes,
the body is blurred.
It is there, standing—real in every regard.
But no details shine through.

Does today bring a chest of supple mounds,
the nourishment of mankind?
Or would the day be one of endless fields,
sharp angles, and broad lines?

The fog melted down their neck.
Would their voice reach the submarine signals deep beneath the ocean blue?
Or would it fly high with the delicate birds in the clear blue sky?

Bringing their hand up to run through wet hair—
would it flow long, a twirl of braids and intricate patterns?
Or would it be twisted tight into a strong knot under their hat?

Maybe neither.

Maybe today they would exist in the blur.
The blur that permeated the image they faced.
Maybe their hair would flow long and their nails would shine bright–
their chest flat as a frozen lake, their voice a force that could make mountains tremble.

Maybe today they would be neither.
Maybe today they would be both.
And maybe that would be OK.

First appeared in an edition of MR. MA’AM Literary Journal at Emory University.