The Mirror by Dulce María Loynáz

The mirror hanging on the wall,

where I sometimes see myself in passing…

is a dead pond brought

into the house.

Corpse of a pond is the mirror:

Still, rigid water containing

in itself remnants of color,


of the sun, of shadow—movable

edges of the horizon burning, passing by

in circles, returning, never

burning up—vague

reminiscence that coalesced in the glass

and cannot return to the distant

land from where the pond was torn up,

still white

of moon and jasmine, still trembling

of rain and birds, its waters…

This is water tamed by death:

It’s a ghost

of a living water that shone one day,

free in the world, lukewarm, suntanned…

Open to the happy wind that

made her dance…! The water doesn’t dance

anymore; it will not reflect

the suns of each day. It is barely reached

by the withered ray filtered through

the window.

In what cold did they freeze you for so long,

vertical pond, no longer spilling

your stream over the carpet, no longer

emptying your remote landscapes

in the living room and your spectral

light? Gray, crystallized water,

my mirror, where I saw myself

so distant

sometimes, where I feared being kept

inside forever… Detached

from myself, lost in the mud

of ash made of limbering stars…

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