The Bathroom Mirror

-Audio Player-

I see you.

the child
by the kerosene heater

too thick

too big

for the batman cape
you love
so much

I’ve been
so harsh
to you

I’ve been
so critical

of the boy
in the bathroom mirror

forgive me

little prince

I know
you did
your best

for when the world
was painted
in reds
and blues

you danced
with shadows
and sang
to mice

in tiny



little prince

thank you.

to the young man
“We shall prevail”
on the back
of his closet door

I see you

and yes
indeed we did

just that

and so much more

but when
you turned
our heart
to ice

and so crudely carved
a pumpkin’s smile
onto our youthful face

I hated you…

and now

for so many years

I’ve hidden you

a prisoner
of that house…

stealing bread crumbs
from your futon mattress
on the floor

walls covered in soot
that refuses sunlight’s touch

self-tailored shirts
that reek of cigarette smoke
and sadness

how pathetically
I looked upon you

how poorly
you handled
those cracks
in our bathroom mirror

I never
really forgave you

for being so weak

for being so helpless

for never
being enough


I watched you

I whispered dark lies
into your mind’s eyes

and drank of all the dreams
we both knew
you did not deserve

young man


I never meant
to be
so cruel

I never meant
to forsake you
the way I did…

I’ve heard your knocks
on my bedroom window
for years

to see the sun

to feel loved

to be seen

young man

forgive me

because I know

you did
the best
you could

you survived

and did so much more
than they ever said
you would

young man.

thank you.

to the Good Sir
in the nice suit jacket

I see you.

the truth
behind the poetry
written in the lines
of your smile

if only

you might

see yourself

more clearly

it was not your fault
to have be born
from the tears
hidden behind lying eyes

you’re doing your best

I’m doing my best

and I’m sorry

for all the moments
that I’ve been so cruel

you survive

thank you.

Old man

the places
you’ve gone

I see you.


be kinder
to me

than I’ve been
to us

our timeless soul

I cannot hope
to understand
the lives you’ve seen
staring back
from the bathroom mirror

I have not met
the love
of your life

I have not yet
at your daughter’s wedding

and I await
all the laughter
that is still to come

old man


I shall meet you
at the world’s end

and I’ll thank you…

for all our good fortune
and life lived
of love.

and finally

to the dark stranger
who stands
watch eternal
in the corners
of the bathroom mirror

I see you.

whose shadows
can no longer obscure

your truth is my truth

your face is my face

my closest friend

my guiding soul

you’ve been by my side
my whole life

whispering “Get up”
whispering “Keep moving!”
whispering “God dammit, you will NOT die today”

forgive me

my injured love

we search for it again

in the eyes
of the boy in the bathroom mirror

timeless friend

thank you.

oh, my little prince

I’ve got you

I’ve had you

and I’ll never let you go.

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Published by John Onyx

A poet of the lost, the found, and the in-between. I’m interested in collaborating with photographers, musicians, and videographers on larger projects. Feel free to email me at if interested!

2 thoughts on “The Bathroom Mirror

  1. Good gracious, you are talented! Absolutely spellbound am I listening to your recitations, and your voice alone, and your actual poetry, of course. Wow. Get known, John Cross! #instantfan

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