The gals at Candied Ginger and I share a fondness for Louise Gluck, and I can't think why she hasn't provided one of my Thursday poems before. This is easily my favorite of hers.
Watching you in the mirror I wonder
what it is like to be so beautiful
and why you do not love
but cut yourself, shaving
like a blind man. I think you let me stare
so you can turn against yourself
with greater violence,
needing to show me how you scrape the flesh away
scornfully and without hesitation
until I see you correctly,
as a man bleeding, not
the reflection I desire.
We know darned well that men frequently see only the desired reflection when they gaze at women; Gluck makes clear that women are prone to the same misperception and distortion. That need to be seen "correctly" is a powerful one indeed! Lots of good stuff to reflect on around image, relationship, sexuality -- and woundedness.