who is narcissus to charge forth, a bull, fear of blood miming his limbs? we refuse to
give up our skin for his armor, we who are smaller than the seeds, we who are not dead.
we know everything—will contact spirits to meet the boy on his nightly
swim; take his head, his mother’s carrion. until then, do not work him down. he is
thin without the pains of reflection as autoclave.
but you—yes, you—are a human flower.
my son, my air,
pressure can break
fraud and tailors will open your body to a watery city, clouds forming in the
abdomen. what skin? what reputation? beneath your chest, the stone will
recommend a soul, a sky.
& then, signal to it: see my banks welcome home.
say, in doubt, there is morning
& soon, again,
it will be night.
O, cricket—o, pretty black blood
cupped beneath scent. You are whole
if eggs, if noise, if the heat of why.
Instead, you still, a noble death—
a death removed from air, & thus
the seeds, thus the song by sword.
Karissa Morton is originally from Des Moines, Iowa, & holds an MFA in poetry from Bowling Green State University where she currently teaches courses in creative writing & freshman comp.