Narcissus, Part I

Narcissus, Part I

By Michael Turle

I see him at the mirror making circles on his skin,

tracing the divine geometry stitched finely up his back.

I see him smile, all bliss and bluster,

a messy messiah with a haircut to match

and eyes with a warmth like home.


I see him dancing down the hall — O ballerino of absurd!

and throw on silks and corduroy

to sing to Julia — 

Half of what I say is meaningless — 


I see him smoking dovetail joints

and strumming summer through the trees

and sea

and sky

and I

see him — 

pulling ichor ink through stolen straws

and learning to breathe their ghosts — 

But I say it just to reach you — 


I see him half asleep in words that will not follow into morning,

sluiced in softshorn exigence for a life unsure to be.

I see him, sedated solitude, scripting and salving towards some sanctity,

a virgin catholic Ginsberg whose Howls no angels hear.


I see him with arms around his back and lips pressed softly to his neck,

and skin on his and seashell eyes and windy smiles and eternity to explore— 


until awaking, 

suddenly sober, 

in the sweat of 4 AM

with one less body in the bed and oblivion besides — 


and I see him rise for water,

drag his shambling husk aloft,

and somehow, 

semifluent still in the tongue of seraphim,

sing aubades of emptiness 

to the moody, shivering morn.


I see him hunched over double in his half remembered prayer

for absolution in absolute from the sin of being alone.

I see him looking through glass onions,

making auspice of their shatter

for signs that she might still exist in a way that hands can know.


I see him look at me 

and shiver — 

I don’t want to give up yet.