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Poetry #3
(published Mid-year, 2000)
Gilt Mirrors
by Cara Jeanne Spindler

(from "Fauna of Mirrors," The Book of Imaginary Beings, Jorge Luis Borges)

The dolphins and sharks, flitting over glass tunnels
or dancing for crowds, wonder why this kind of animal
is glued to their bottom, why they move so flat.

Near cousins, the mirror people are entrapped
by a sorcerers curse: they are condemned to act perfectly,
act always. Instead of Vegas featherboas, they wear
prosthetic noses, waitressing uniforms; they mimic
every morning grimace in every bathroom.

Glass is a slow-moving liquid, thickly viscous.
Human with ocean insides,
glass threads winding, the mirror-people
and the sea creatures inhabit different planes
of the same world; and it is told that one day

they will return. They wait in the wings of human life,
plotting rebellions, enticing whales, hoping
that the NASA broadcast of whalesong
to space will entice others to join. Their revenge
will be brackish, when the waters rise again,
overthrowing the sorcerers arbitrary void
of the specular and the human.

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