At the Wheel

Noah Stetzer


In the rear view mirror on this day when I wear my contact lenses,
I can see my face clearly. I can see the edges of things. 

I can almost recall the first time I wore contact lenses and see the face
of that boy, me, framed in the bathroom mirror, struggling

to slip those lenses on his eyes, almost twenty-five years ago, a teenager
in my father’s house. But now my face in the rear view mirror is the face

of my father, then, the face of the father of that boy
in the bathroom mirror, twenty-five years ago; not my father now,

but how he looked, then, when we lived together and I’d stand
in his walk-in closet, smelling cologne and Mennen talcum powder,

and run my hands over his finely tailored suits, and sift my fingers
through the slipperiness of his neck ties. I’d linger and imagine

being older. Here in the rear view mirror my father’s face glances
back at me, his eyes, my eyes, quick then away, eyes back on the road,

but there for a split second in the mirror, the still picture image of his face,
my face, with the fast GW Parkway traffic passing behind it—

it’s only reflection I saw just then.