on the outside

looking in, again, though not wanting to, exactly, having spent some time these past few months thinking the glass was reversed, thinking i was safe in that warm, cozy room with the lamp, the glowing fire, the purring kitten.

yet here i stand, cold feet, alone, in the dark.

i failed to notice my own reflection as the sun set behind my back, failed to compensate for my silhouette, my shadow, the mirror image that smiled, even though she knew the truth.

i never have quite made it, there… to the inside.

oh, i’ve had tickets a few times, given to me by friends, loves, even chance. pretty tickets with golden edges that promised more than could ever be delivered. tickets that were bigger than the event. tickets that looked like the real thing, though as it turned out, were counterfeit.

and now i stand here, watching this woman who sits by the fire of her own contentment, the warmth of complacency spread through her limbs, its glow apparent on her face. there is a book, and tea, and she wears warm socks.

but she is a destination that cannot be reached. she is a mirage.

or a vision.

if i snapped her photograph, right this second, you might see a shadow, or an indentation where she’d been sitting, but you would never be certain she had actually been there. you would question her existence.

i don’t cry as i stand here, watching her. i don’t yearn, or covet, or hope to be there, next to her, on that couch. i simply watch, silently. intent only on the sorrow in her eyes.

she isn’t me.

she’s simply someone else’s yesterday.

some lost soul i followed home who looked happy, from a distance.

from the outside, looking in.

she is not me.

she just


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