Across the broad rain-scrubbed piazza,
A wet warren of windows suggested
That section of viaduct had been carved into homes
A thousand, two thousand years of bricks
Landed on my head right then.
Not far away, almost six hundred years ago,
Brunelleschi worked with maths and mirrors to discover
Perspective, and it’s what I want:
Not maths, but mirrors that will give me
Perspective: a hint, a clue, a Rosetta Stone
Translatable is what I want, need, ask.
I need a mirror, or a splash of mirrors to open this universe.
In Versailles, Louis had mirrors
When a hand mirror could cost
A lifetime of wages, and most of his subjects
Used puddles for reflections, he had mirrors
The size of grand portraiture
And nobody said no, you cannot
Cannot use all those lifetimes of labour
Just to enjoy your own narcissism.
Yet when I who am used to mirrors
Turned the corner into that grand windowed
Hall with all its windows and mirrors
It crashed through whatever I was!
I know my life is all around me as is yours;
Strewn like rubble from the transformations
Enacted by some ancient mason trying to
Make a future out of his past: trying to
Hue our fenestration out of his past: allowing me
To look at a puddle, see the moment of reflection
Create my window, my mirror to the answer that
I’m soaking in.