Plain China

Capgras Syndrome

by Rebecca Rothfeld · Dartmouth College
Sophie, Jackson Tupper · University of Vermont

One day you were

no longer you. You’d

swallowed yourself in the deep

of your sleep and escaped through

a door in the side of

your gut. By the time I awoke,

already too late, I noticed

the maculate window agape,

long curtains contorted with

unbidden breeze, the covers

drawn back on the bed’s naked thigh.

There hadn’t been time

for notes or goodbyes, just

enough to collect what you thought

you might need, your books

and your socks, a couple

of shirts, old letters

addressed to a self days away.

 

Strangers in the kitchen are

scrambling eggs. Interred in

the tub I am turning taps cold,

my fingers all wrinkled like rot-ripened

fruit. I plead with your captors

for your safe return. What have they done

with your voice, with your hands? And where

are they keeping the greens of your eyes?

No prison could house all these

transient selves, no ransom recover

the bulk of your being, the fingers

that parted my mouth’s lonely oval

and defied our parting, demanding

I stay. On the day of

betrayal I’ll unbuild my bearings,

find my clothing ill-fitting and mirrors

unfamiliar, my mail delivered to

previous tenants, and myself

coyly kidnapped: we’ve all been replaced.

About the Author

Rebecca Rothfeld · Dartmouth College

Rebecca Rothfeld is a German and philosophy major. Her work has appeared in Slate Magazine, The Dartmouth, Stonefence Review, and The Northwest Current. She won the Arena Stage Playwriting contest and the Richard Ebhart Literary Contest, and has received four Scholastic Art and Writing awards. She enjoys film noir, George Gershwin, claymation, and copious footnoting. Her chief influences are David Foster Wallace, Rainer Maria Rilke, and her beloved high school debate coach, Jim Gentile. Rebecca’s poem first appeared in Dartmouth's Stonefence Review.

About the Artist

Jackson Tupper · University of Vermont

Jackson Tupper grew up on the coast of Maine. He is currently a senior studying studio art. His Picasso photo series is an exploration of the portrait through a cubist lens. Sophie was first published in UVM’s Vantage Point.