* Note that the playback function may entail lengthy delays where the writer cogitated. We do try to jump to the point at which composing began, but there is the occasional writer who types a letter and then stops for five minutes. Hang in there.

Peter Richards

We asked Peter Richards to write on the following:

Imaginary Brother

I have had no brother
except the boy in the mirror
who made faces at me,

who made passes at me
when I walked by,
inviting me to the self-love

that preoccupied me
for two-thirds of my life,
until it narrowed my life

to a rectangle of glass
smaller than a pocket
mirror used by any girl,

in which I was the only subject.
Nowadays I close my eyes
when I shave his face,

for really he has no face
at all that matters. Nowadays
he comes and goes. What

have I lost in wishing goodbye
to him? What did he teach me
about myself that had to be

seen and sent away, like
a mirror in a darkened room
that sees nothing until

its face returns to regard
itself, returns again to light up
the mirror with its illusion

-- Bill Zavatsky

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