Laws of Reflection

Jessica McMillan

Jessica McMillan

I die in calendar boxes, inked 
with black holes. I forsake
organic speeds, unable to admit 
light, as to admit is to confess.
In the laws of reflection, outgoing 
rays equal in-coming. 
I am a blackout curtain 
opened a crack for updates,
for crafted futures.
I stream light in crepuscular tunnels 
of a handheld device. 
By the pool chair, my LED screen 
tasks in surrogate tenses. 
Secondhand sun beams 
off the glass curtain of the building, 
races through window, tangles 
in waves and reflects on the ceiling 
in an aqualit mosaic 
where I bend in the moment,
wistful, not so much 
for unreachable light 
but mourning what I deflect.
When I am light
in water I am a conduit 
of beam and crest. 
Like crosshairs of dream
--for a moment--
I am Earth's prism 
in unmitigated wavelengths.
Then I look at the clock 
and exit the pool,
unreadable and corona rimmed.
I wrap the towel around me,
and become the memento mori 
of the dark universe.
* * *

Laws of Reflection was selected for MSUL’s themed call for work about Water, in coordination with the MSU Broad Art Museum’s fall 2023 exhibition, Flint is Family in Three Acts, featuring the photography of Latoya Ruby Frazier.

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