No echoes here, nothing substantial to reverberate.
Mirrors are not reiterative, and once you are gone
there is no “after-thought”, no residual, no intrinsic mechanism by which the image
perceived may be apprehended,
no tattle tale either to whisper dark inferences,
or draw harsh lines as will be indefinitely preserved.
There are no chips installed. Neither Intel nor IBM have as yet become involved in the problem.
Just step away and that scowl is absolved of its meanness, the sneer, the snicker,
even the irony of a laugh, the knowledge
of that which has been lost, and cannot be reconstructed,
except by artificial recording devices,
or photographs, brief crumpled notes, hales and farewells,
emasculations of the essence of self. No. Surely,
there is a kind of “delete” that is inherent in its construction.
You are, perhaps, aware that this is an almost perfect tabula rasa,
and though, when you redirect your peripheral gaze, slyly, surreptitiously, there seems always
a something unexpected, a test for the unconventional, the forbidden,
a scene you ought to remember, but whose contours one cannot quite analyze,
it will inevitably be wiped clean when you have retreated effectively from its reflection.
So why the hesitation? Why search so furtively to either side?
Something behind the glass, perhaps? What is it that you fear to meet
in the eyes of that person before you? Would it not be appropriate
to meet him one on one, become as acquainted with him
as you are of yourself.
Consider all this a mere property of silver,
a simple sort of echolalia, the noise
of bouncing balls in a pachinko parlor,
a kind of synaptic mania, that by bypassing communion
with high frequency, long-ranging impulses,
attempts to achieve, or at least simulate, a higher state of consciousness.
Well, here we are, right-ready to be responsive,
stuffed like a cabbage with all the best ingredients:
Think of it as a recipe for life, in its finest Darwinian sense, as a scientific experiment.
Sit patiently; wait for the end-point.
For example, take two mirrors, set fore and aft:
measure the velocity and the complex interaction of images.
In theory all the crazy photons won’t know where to go,
and after moving at such
terrible speeds, even they will grow weary.
So don’t look. Don’t!
But if you dare to watch with an eye
as to what is transpiring behind that glass,
you must pretend that there is in another room,
another galaxy where all of it is happening.
Be aware, though, that most of these theoretical concepts,
like phlogiston, like the ether,
like that turtle in the void upon which the earth is sitting,
are now discarded at the wayside.
And more experiments than not,
of this newly evolved species,
are going to be failures.