all faces are accidents

all faces are accidents;

accidents have faces.

the spilled milk has eyes,

the spilled ink has eyes,

the paint spatters in the sink

are a nose, a mouth, a hairline.


I saw Charlemagne in the dirt on the floor

I saw Mark Twain swirl in the stream

I saw Hank in the bottom of a glass

I saw the face of the girl I 

loved when I was fifteen, hundreds of times

that year;

her face where her face belonged,

above her neck; floating as we

walked together,

but never near enough to touch.


I cannot see her face

with my eyes closed



some things are lost to me

even when I’ve put them 

in my pocket,

the faces of dear ones.


three lines on the paper

a smear of gesso on the canvas

suggest the faces,

the accidental faces,

the faces I search for

to fill holes in my memory. 


all faces are accidents

of time and circumstance

all accidents have faces


then lost to chance.


William Jamieson (he/him/his) writes, paints, and creates music in a basement a few miles west of Baltimore, Maryland. He occasionally comes out to breathe fresh air and cook meals. He can be found on Instagram @another_lousy_tourist.