Prosopagnosia Feels Like Looking Through a Tunnel and Landing in a Graveyard

I read recently that face-blindness

can be caused by trauma,

but I don’t know which trauma

caused what or why sometimes

I have scars and sometimes I don’t.

I don’t know how old I am

when I know this. I’m seven years old

and we’re at the zoo, or I’m twelve

years old at the aquarium. I’m smart

but not face-smart. There are too

many people in the crowd. The crowd

is one watercolor person, all faces blending

together into something I can’t recognize.

My mother is a stranger. I have hugged

the wrong stranger. I hug another stranger.

She’s not right, either. I go up to each

person in the room, every time pressing

close to the wrong person. My mind is

three steps forward or three steps

back—I can’t see anything in order.

I go to the bathroom and have a staring

contest with the mirror. It is only me

and this strange boy in the mirror.

I do not recognize my face but I recognize

my tongue, salty and wet and small.



Remi Recchia is a trans poet and essayist from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is a Ph.D. candidate in Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University. He currently serves as an associate editor for the Cimarron Review. A two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Remi’s work has appeared in Columbia Online Journal, Front Porch, and Glass: A Journal of Poetry, among others. He holds an MFA in Poetry from Bowling Green State University.