Windows Are the Opposite of Mirrors

Summer, 2013 / No. 30

I’m organizing a field trip to the Museum

of Windows of the World. I hear that if you look through them

you will see what they saw when they were part of a wall,

the shimmering lens that records a building’s vista,

every bright sky and bird strike they looked out on.

In addition, the Optical wing features frames

presented as if in their natural settings,

when they were part of glasses, when they were part of a face

—mounted on wax heads made from the death masks of miniature

dead moons. There is a witness encased in the silica.

The scientists we have hired, extracting the translucent

cinema caught in the invisible, all that they’ve learned

is that this process can not be reproduced

in mirrors. Mirrors hold our facial refuse tight,

unwilling to let go. Like metal in the microwave

their elements are resistant to our impatience.