Pool of Narcissus by Hayden Bunker

Pool of Narcissus

Hypatia, we came onto the constellation of our child,
proclaiming: Alas! the spirit goes, somehow knowing it to be true.
Turning back dials until day went black,
turning back dials until our fear-sores pussed,
turning back dials until fate arrived to us.
Christians broke your devices for watching the suns,
death gassing under their robes (like Eliot’s yellow fog, I think).
Butter knives, ceramic shards—
I saw them drag you by your hair to the plaza,
vivisect & pyre your limbs on a cross.

I barely know you anymore, you had said to me,
Barely remember who we once were.
There was pain, I recall, and something of a tribunal.
Will love be again? Will our love be again?
On the stand you labored
like a wet-tusked walrus sucking its mustaches.
Love is cruelty—please don’t get me wrong—
cruel that it fosters the disfigurement of vanity.

.               My sister came then to find me seized at my mirror,
.               clutched me back from the dark,
.               back out of the frying pool of Narcissus.
.               (Is he still looking? Has he yet risen?)
.               Turns out there was no you, Hypatia, just me and my reflection.
.               I swear I saw you peering back, eyes welled white with tears.

About the Poet
Hayden Bunker previously studied poetry and creative writing at Goddard College in Plainfield, VT and Hellenic International Studies in the Arts in Paros, Greece. He has a background in youth and community theater, and is currently pursuing a B.A. in English Literature at Reed College in Portland, OR.