We (after Marguerite Duras) by Audrey Coble

You will not look straight in the mirror, except when you are told to do so. 

You will forget. 

You will forget. 

You will forget that this is you. 

I believe that we might meet.  

You will also forget the mirror. But above all, you will forget that this is you. You. Yes, I believe that we might meet. From my perspective, among others, the ones I reach out to and call out to and send electric impulses out to like mushrooms, rhizomed, corded, met at the node. From my perspective among others you are lost, or I am lost, or both of us are lost on the far end of some secret network. 

You will ask me: look at what? 

And I will say, look in the mirror, look at you, look at me. In the mirror you will see one eye and then the other, and then our nose and then our mouth. You will raise a hand and dutifully I will raise my hand, too, the wrong one, the same one. To match you. Our irises are striated in just the same way. Our irises flex in the same way to open up the black pits of our pupils and this yawn looks like a strain, looks like it would hurt. It does not hurt. Our eyes are glossy and wet.

You will look at me first one eye and then the other in the mirror and remember to me in a soft voice almost singsong the fox on the side of the highway last night, large with a huge tail and eyes glinting in your headlights. How it looked right at you, all eyes. Eyes glinting.

I will look at you first in one eye and then the other and remember to you the magpie that sits in the same spot every day on the drive to the ocean, watching, as if it has been waiting for me. I will pass and it will cock its head in that twitchy way that birds do, and it will shuffle away. It has been waiting for me, it has remembered me. Glassy black eyes. And so I think that this might be you, or me, or another one of us. 

I believe that we might meet. 

In another life, in another world, I am a different person with different thoughts and a different life. I grieve the loss. 


I grieve the distance. And in the space between us in the electric impulse that moves through the air I am sure of it, the other ones of me and you they grieve us just the same. 

You will forget that this is you. 

You will believe that I chose you. I. You. I will remember you to you and beg you to forget more. We will slog through the event horizon, the now infinite between the not-now and the not-now again. We are being pulled towards some black pit pupil that we cannot comprehend. We cannot know because we cannot reach it. Your biggest fear is now, mine is the not-now. Together in between us there is a mirror and through that an electric impulse, a patch of striated muscle that makes you sick to look at.

Don’t be afraid. I remember you to you, and you don’t recognize you anymore. I am the rememberer. That was not-now, this is now. Our fear. I write for the both of us.

Somewhere else everything flows from one of us and we grieve the distance. So many of us live and die. I am learning to love you. And to love you, and to love you, and to love you, and to love you. I am drawing closer. 

You are looking straight into the mirror. 

I am learning to write. I am learning to remember. 

You do not know this. 

You will.


Audrey Coble is a third-year MFA student focused in nonfiction at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. They currently work, write, and live in Anchorage, Alaska.