LOOKING GLASS FIFTH PLACE: “Covering Up” by Blake Mason

Inspired by: “Outer Reflection” by Lilibeth Rassmussen

COVERING UP by Blake Mason

The body is a half-built home-

made temple coated in grout, concrete,

and gesso, left to weave itself a kind of shroud.

Grab two shards of mirror for the eyes:

an angular, jagged window to what’s hidden

behind a contorted reflection of the viewer.

Use smaller pieces to capture the curve

of the chest, to roll around each rib

and send the light skittering about the room.

I had the idea that adulthood is a freeform

paint by number kind of boy scout trip:

collect merit badges, square and rounded

and sew them with silver thread into your flesh:

the new car, the first time I had sex.

the first time I thought sex appeal

could be achieved by starving myself.

This dime-sized mirror badge is for flossing.

This cracked one was what your leaving left.

If you are lucky, it is all a kind of beauty.

At the very least, it is armor, it is skin.

Judge Stephen Gibson’s comments: This is “a poem built on fine moments that close effectively.”

Blake Mason is a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin – Madison studying artificial intelligence. He is from Northern California by way of Los Angeles, where he lived for four great years which greatly shaped the themes on his poetry and how he writes. The written word has been a longtime interest of his, and he uses poetry as a means for introspection and expression. Outside of his academic work, he enjoys folk music, running, and shaking his fist at our elected leaders.