on Alan Turing as we meet in quarantine again and again
what looks back at me from the mirror
is the guardian of my memory.
what we really are is just a river of
what we will never forget.
morning presents herself
and my reflection notices it first.
I hover next to the machine of my body
or maybe my body loiters next to Me.
finds meaning in
braiding together the ocean
of my computer.
I crave meat and blood.
I rush to the graveyard underneath my bed.
the soil is warm and i am
what stays human in me
if my soul stares from
across the room
inside the mirror
next to me when I sleep?
I have buried here my most human cadavers.
every father i’ve ever made myself
every woman i have ever been
the selves i have slaughtered in my making.
it is wormy and rich.
more fertile than i will ever consent to.
less chemical than i have become.
i can lie in the wet mattress of my
if what stares from the mirror
and lingers in the corner of my room
shovels dirt over my body with its hands—
i will stare back
and be content with my ghosts.
Tori Ashley Matos is a poet and performer based in New York City. They’re non-binary, Afro-Taino, and queer. Their work is evolving, searching, muddy, and filled with ghosts, liberation, and freedom. They graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and they’ve been published in Curlew Quarterly, Besting, Perhappened Mag, No, Dear Magazine, and more. They are a Gaze Journal Loving Gaze Poetry Prize winner, a Brooklyn Poets and Lit Fest Fellowship finalist, and a two time DreamYard poetry fellow. They have their first chapbook publishing in late 2021. Follow them on Instagram @ToriAshleyMatos!