Poor love-struck Echo, stuck with repeating
everything he said. He might
have thought he deserved it,
to have a nymph for a girlfriend, whod confirm
everything he said; he might
have loved how she mirrored him,
a girlfriend whod say Youre pretty
when he told her she was pretty,
whod love him more than her mirror.
Not that they had mirrors in those days;
that was the problem. Anyway, she was pretty,
but he wasnt interested in nymphs.
If only theyd had mirrors in those days
he wouldnt have drowned in that reflecting pool,
finding it more interesting than nymphs.
But maybe hed have beat his head against a mirror
and killed himself anyway, pool or no pool.
No free will in those daysit was all the gods.
You could beat your head against your fate, but still,
if you were Narcissus, youd end up a white flower
stuck in the ground with no will, plucked or trampled by gods,
and someone would say it was deserved,
for beauty to come down to a white flower,
a poor echo, and someones love stuck
in the ground, the ground, the ground, the ground.
Kim Addonizio, who lives in San Francisco, is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Philosophers Club and Tell Me.