Narcissus or the pond?

for 1998


Swifts explode from her bun in a wild sine
flying in arrow formation, streaking
the sky with disappearing wing
some ashes and a few trinkets
fall to the ground and grow
into lines of disappearing ink
tracing Nature posing as a woman (again)
woman at the window
SHE peers through the drapes
waiting for the boat, the flood,
the sail to go up and catch
wind, any wind


the main character is a back
a woman’s back
hung from shoulder hinges, the rest
falls away in sheets
it’s a small window with a small view
the sky violates HER
to the right there’s a white blur
visible through the window,
through the small blue square
which was sky, but now is water
is it the ocean, or a river?
is SHE on the shore of a grand lake?
the white blur is a sail of a boat (squinting)
the sail of a boat SHE faces
the boat, the water
her back betrays so little
of the interior


Consider the theme of the window
are we betrayed by the window?
the moon is death
the trees are also immense
you can no longer see yourself
crossing the street in the distance
crossing the distance
it’s not a window
it’s a completely different kind of dispossession
Who is the author, Narcissus or the pond?

Nicole Zdeb


Nicole Zdeb is a writer based in Oregon, USA.

© 2018