The bird pecks furiously at a mirror,
flies into it over and over;
the baby laughs at the mirror, waving
little arms in the air, euphorically;
the man raises his gun, fires at the mirror,
blows holes in himself, again and again;
the god keeps moving the mirror around,
but can’t stop looking at itself.
But let’s suppose there was no mirror.
Since we can imagine anything, imagine that.
Everyone would have to fend for themselves,
just as before, just like now.
We would all come into some world or other
from who knows where, wander around, dazed,
fo a little while — who could say for how long?
Then we would leave for somewhere else,
because nothing ever stays the same.
Nothing would be remembered, certainly
we can understand how that would happen.
No image would persist, shimmering in the air
like a desert mirage. Everything would be more
like a piece of fading old newspaper stuffed
beneath the kindling in the fire place.
And maybe it was a cold November day, grey
and drizzling. In any case, not remembered now.
Finally, what can be said about it at all?
If I could share a secret here, perhaps
it would go something like this:
a fire is burning steadily in an infinite room,
a mirrorless space inhabited by no one —
not a bird or baby, neither man nor god.