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.