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Echo and Narcissus

                                    Jaimee Hills


I. Echo Goes Spelunking

She wants to say the word spelunk
to drink
its sound and pour it from her mouth
like myth.
The flashlight at her forehead glows
haloes.
She feels like the shadows on the wall,
so small.
Bats flap. Is her mud-covered skin
this thin?
She rappels deeper into mud.
Thud. “Thud.”


II. Narcissus and Saran Wrap

Glimpsing his cling-wrapped bowl, Narcissus stands
before a blurry lover. Could it be real?
The fraction of mirror
couldn’t be clearer.
He plunges lusty fingers in the seal.
The doting lover sucks and kisses his hands.

How suffocating though. He NOW SEALS TIGHTER!
with arms so crystal polyethylene,
so Easy to Handle.
And what a scandal
every steamy microwave-safe sex scene
becomes. And the lost love when lights get brighter.


III. Narcissus, Echo, and the Recycling Center

Through lines of plastic, the garbage, he says,
“Savor the rows where the offal brews.”
Reflective bottles don’t compare
to that mirror pool of Ancient Greece.

“Save her, the rose. Wear the awful bruise,”
she answers self-reflectively
to that mirror pool of ancient grease
dammed in the dirt road parking lot.

She answers self-reflectively
in a mud-puddled way, “Why me?—
damned in the dirt road parking lot
to restate his words.” As his face reflects

in the mud-puddled way, “Why me!”
He points, “No, he’s a little meatier.”
To restate his words, as his face reflects,
“No, maybe he’s a little bolder.”

She points. “No, he’s a little meteor,”
she argues insufficiently.
“No, maybe he’s a little boulder.”
Annoyed, “Try speaking to your lyre,” he retorts.

She argues insufficiently.
“You can’t change chance,” he says.
Annoyed, “Try speaking to your liar,” she retorts.
He doesn’t know how it feels to love.

“You can’t change chants,” she says.
Through lines of plastic—the garbage he says—
he doesn’t know how it feels. To love,
reflective bottles don’t compare.


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