On Mirrors

~ in response to a videopoem by Eduardo Yagüe on Rafael Courtoisie’s “Song of the Mirror” (“La canción del espejo”), with translation by Jean Morris

The earth is full of openings:
wounds arranged as sweet circles,
blistered over with leaves.

What lisps here so lightly,
as if granite or marble were not
pockmarked as the moon?

In rooms where no one is talking,
a different kind of sea: you could look
at the rafters bleached and white
as bones, as if drifting above.

I hug myself the way
another would hold me,
but this isn’t all of me—

I am not my teeth, not the mouth’s
tormented shapes, nor the fear
that leaps into my throat like bile
when I run upstairs thinking
I’ve heard a gunshot.

It’s only the heavy mirror
falling to the floor, slipping
from its round wooden frame,
breaking into pieces.

In a field, or in front of the sea:
a dream of symmetry.

That game of touching
first one half of the face
then the other. Or seeing
how hair falls on each
side of the part.

At the horizon, the sea never says
look at me. Never says
drink me, or drown in me.

Water ripples
and images distort
in a fringe of lashes—
Look at the tiny hermit crabs,
unhomed but homing.

I don’t want to be
undone by stone. I want to think
of the sea and how it kisses
every part: how in it, I can think
only of immensity.

Yes, that would be the kind
of mirror I’d want to find.

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