Le faux miroir, The False Mirror, 1928 by Rene Magritte

Le faux miroir, The False Mirror, 1928 by Rene Magritte


Do you remember
that day? All
those days we stretched
out, bellies up, eyes
like oceans, wavy looking
glasses through which we tumbled
& discovered endless
stories in our sky?

One time we pondered deaths – large
& small. You said
you’d heard this theory, nobody
ever really dies: like blooms
we simply close
our eyes on one dream
& re-open
dreaming another
except we don’t remember
the dreaming
or waking, only the things
we have to do
in our new bodies, already old
& that’s how the world keeps on
& on, everybody constantly
dying, forgetting, sleep
walking a too-fast slow-dance
in which places are constantly changing
yet somehow, we don’t
notice, don’t change.

By then it was night,
but we weren’t tired:
your brown eyes still glowed
blue & white & brimming
with those bright dreams
we’d captured. Your hair was thick
in my fingers, as you told me
you didn’t know
but you knew
you hoped
one day, some way, we’d open
our eyes & be
still on that same earth
beneath that same sky – or
if not there, then somewhere, still
next to one

This morning, years on, I woke
– was woken by a snoring,
balding man whose morning breath
robbed mine. Worse, in the mirror
was this woman whose lined face
& red eyes knew
the truth – I think
that she, I think that I even savoured
the silence in which we drowned
our coffee & fled
through different doors
into days we didn’t discuss
later, over dinner, already slumped
on the sofa, ogling the screen, that other
mirror eye through which we refuse
to see ourselves. Except

then came this image
of a sky with clouds like ocean
waves, racing, crashing
down icy cold, so cold I gasped
& turned to look
for the first time
at that balding man, that weary
woman reflected in his gaze. Like Molly, Yes
yes yes,
he knew, had seen it
too & you
still held all our old stories
in your brown eyes, spilling blue
after so many years, seeing me
seeing through
two yawning strangers
dying in the flicker-light
as we re-opened
& for at least a moment, next
to one another,