Rorschach Test
Paul Larochelle

What do you see
when you see me?
A wishbone waiting to be cracked
in half, left to desiccate on a rack?
Or a snail who’s lost its shell, slithering
and dithering, leaving a glistening
trail, all the better to follow me home?
Or maybe you can only see what I lack?
A black hole? A sine curve? A loop-de-loop?
Something you want to hop on and ride?
Stomp on and hide?
One half of a pair of bookends: useless?
A pillar? A totem? A tree in the breeze?
This body, this shadow,
this dark shape that’s mine, all mine,
must describe something out of the light.
Have I been the fool to believe I have fooled
other fools into seeing a saint on a pedestal?
A haloed ascetic, an enigma with
one foot in heaven but two (anyway) firmly on the ground?
When I named what I saw in the inkblots
they told me I was “incapable of meaningful relationships.”
Can you see me
for the dog that I am?