Alien [I Want to Believe]

A black-and-white image of a dark hand reaching out towards a mirror, with one finger touching its surface. The hand is perfectly reflected in the mirror, creating the illusion of two fingers touching.

Occasionally, I think I’m an alien — my viewpoint

still strangely humanistic — who makes odd faces

at himself in the mirror, who blurts out a language

that sounds to me at once both ancient and futuristic.

And shouldn’t I be terrified this being so beyond me

lives within, seizing control of both my body and

my mind. Are you the reason for all this strangeness

in my life, for all these changes unexplained and

all this strife, or am I, while you stand by attempting

to set the record straight, as you are undoubtedly wise

— my ironic anchor, my saucered light, as if I might

drift off into oblivion if I did not harbor you inside.

Oh creepy creature, body-snatcher, make the world

match up with my mind — a peaceful world, in which

people are kind and sane, where I won’t find myself

at a loss for real words, at odds with the real world,

alone in the bathroom making idiot sounds and twisted

faces in the mirror. Make my life a joy again, not one

that’s full of loneliness and fear — or break this chain

and take me back to the place from which you came.


Stephen Jackson [he/him] lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including The American Journal of Poetry, Chronotope, Dreams WalkingGhost City Review, Impossible Archetype, Iō Literary JournalMineral Lit Mag, and Quince, as well as on the International Human Rights Art Festival Publishes platform and in The PoetRhy Garden. @fortyoddcrows