The Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1975)

You’ve shaped your life through pinhole eyes, and hid the bitter wince of foul solitude, wasting in your languid pity, claiming you were the righteous. You beat your fist with such conviction that your hands are now callused abrasions, digits once used to count when a child, have turned to gnarly hooks of age and loss.

And what were you so certain of? I can’t recall. Your smile, still bearing a crack of youth, is all-knowing, but your sharp ideals eroded long ago. That wry look is just a mask of memories for the one you love. You are only a testament to her lost innocence and fading beauty, a faulty remnant of who she once was, and a romantic optimism rusted.

There you smile, before the dark abandonment of winter. It’s not the heightened being promised by the solemn stained glass faces. It is the weightlessness of release. It is the careless laugh at the pain as it scurries like a lamb, while you leave behind the bitter clench of convictions for another fool with thoughts of immortality.

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