By Which I Die

February 3, 2011
By she-is-forgotten BRONZE, Louisville, Colorado
she-is-forgotten BRONZE, Louisville, Colorado
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

"Its empty being on thy self relies;
Step thou aside, and the frail charmer dies."

How long I waited! As though you might
come crawling out of your watery grave
like some Lazarus, in possession
once more of your flesh: every pound
you wouldn't trade for a king's coffers.

Instead I stand by your riverworn tombstones
counting the narcissus blossoms that search for themselves
in the depths. Trailing fingers
in the icy currents, I am Tantalos – the fruits
of his laboring folly dangling before his eyes –
reflected in the water – twice over they hang!

I can feel the noose on my neck
like your fingers.

I would be sorry
if you weren't the one calling for me
to slide out from the darkness like one
resurrected –

you, throwing coins into my eyes one
at a time, flashes of metal-spun light
that cost you a second
but buy me no time. If you weren't the one
taking up a knife to carve out
the weight I can't give you –

and there with the ripened fruits of the mistakes
we cannot forgive hanging twice over (once
for each our heads), you count
the narcissus blossoms that weep for themselves
over your silent grave:

a tomb that no amount of flooding would bury –
that no amount of waiting would free –

The author's comments:
The title and opening epigraph to this piece come from Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book the Third: The Story of Narcissus. Midway through the poem to the end, I intended the narrator to become somewhat ambiguous in order to explore whether or not a reflection is the same as the reflected and how perspective alters perception.

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This article has 1 comment.

Apeggy BRONZE said...
on Feb. 17 2011 at 5:52 pm
Apeggy BRONZE, Albion, New York
3 articles 0 photos 42 comments

Favorite Quote:
A.B.D"A Beautiful Dream"

I really love this poem,it's very deep and dark. Read my poem if you'd like! It would be greatly apprecialted.


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