Homoiousia

I see you across the rooftops,
I watch you every night
and wonder:
Do you ever watch me
watching you?
I wonder, too,
about your life,
what it’s like to get up
each morning
in that room–
your room–
to wake into you.

I catch glimpses as you pass
between the windows
and I wonder what you think about
as you dress
and prepare for your day.
And then you disappear
until the night.

Hours later, I see you again
and wonder:
how did your day go,
and what is that book in your hand,
what are you watching
and who are you talking to?
I imagine you as a serious character
so when I see you laugh,
I wonder why.

The window of a house
seen across the rooftops
offers such a narrow glimpse into a life
so that I don’t think I would recognize you
If I met you on the street.
From time to time,
I imagine the you in the outside world —
that you I don’t know —
and I think maybe I have created a new you.
Sometimes I wonder if I know you after all and
if I met you
would I like you?

And sometimes
I think that maybe
I am you
and you are me,
that we are one and the same–
reflections in a mirror–
and that maybe it is you
who is actually watching me.

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15 thoughts on “Homoiousia

  1. I liked this very much. I too often wonder about identities, what we mean by self and if what we see as ourself is actually only reflections of how others see us. I liked your exploration of your character, and the way you then question your own construction.

    • Thank you for your very in-depth and thoughtful comment. In addition to having very similar thoughts as those you express, I also wonder how well we can ever know the people in our lives, even those we know more intimately than someone glimpsed across the rooftops. Our understanding of others is always wrapped up in our own perceptions and in our understanding of our selves.

    • The thought that someone might be watching us and perceiving us as someone completely foreign from who we actually are, and the resulting realization that maybe we don’t know even our own selves as well as we think, can be very unsettling! Not to mention the disjointed sense of who is actually watching who…

  2. I love the structure with all the questions, and how you balance that with the visual elements–the pacing with the book, the mention of the street. I found these lines poignant: “The window of a house/seen across the rooftops/offers such a narrow glimpse into a life.”

    • Thank you, I’m glad to hear that. I think as writers we end up wondering more about the stories that surround us. Because everyone has them and they are such mysteries (read: possibilities) to the observer!

  3. I love the circularity of this thinking. I love that the narrator starts to question whether the person they’re looking at is what they imagine, a creation of imagination, or a reflection of self. And that niggling understanding that this is just a glimpse into a life. Wonderful and captivating.

    • Asha, thank you for your careful reading and your thoughtful comment. You have captured exactly what I was getting at. I’m so glad you picked up on all of that!

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