image © Marlon James
The Water in the Pond Considers Narcissus
He looks at me and sees right through me, as if I am nothing, as if he could live without me. I bathed him each day, moistly kissing the rise of his flesh, slapping his limbs then falling away, down and down lower and cooler. The surface is all he sees. Not the way I labor to raise his own face back up to him, not my rippled laughter, my silver mechanics. Nothing.
Now I know what I must do.
When next he leaves, I will replace his face. I will lay still and let him come over me: the sun. The sun. I will rise. My vapors will take back everything. And all that will be left is the empty gash in the soil where I once made my bed, where I offered him all of my soul, my molecules, where I let him step into me, deep, his buried flesh rejoicing. Instead he will step and find nothing but a grave.