The Terrible Twist

Just now, in that mirror,
there were only her own eyes,
all of a sudden,
and she saw it, that absence,
that place where she would not be looking back at herself
through the science of procreation and DNA,
and that most of the people she knew
would do that,
and they would look at bits of themselves in another
and know the physical extent of their existence
by the colour of eyes or the peak of an upper lip;
she would not;
she could only see strangers.

There should be funerals for the deaths of possibilities,
she thought, there should be services
with slide shows to tell the possibilities
of could-have-beens to the could-nots,
and candles would be lit by everyone
to acknowledge all their futures that had just unhappened,
except that was not feasible, because things were unpossibling all the time,
and no one could ever go to work for all the funerals,
although, without them,
everyone just kept walking around and talking and going to work
and eating and putting gas in their cars and sighing
with no one so resigned to the unhappening
as her face looking back upon itself.

She closed her eyes,
and a short and desperate gesture it was,
to find the mirror that would show her
a living thing of her own making,
but she could see only strangers with wisps of curly hair,
or, in a terrible sarcastic twist,
she was an ape cradling a dead monkey daughter
that only she could see.