by Sheikha A.

The night haunches on its elbows
and pretends to look towards me,
like a favour bestowed;

he probably doesn’t know of the numerous
times I have pedestalled him by starting
my sentences with ‘this night’.

This night doesn’t know his ego is
gartered to his palsied ability
to respond –

he probably doesn’t know he wears
the crown of Narcissus; unable
to see through simple equations,
sitting by a pool of illusions.

The night doesn’t know he has been traded
for sunlight, (and which is why) summers are
not guests but squatters here;

he probably doesn’t know his (self-assumed)
ingenious tendencies have become gaunt
of amusement for the wing-bearers now.

The night should know shadows
do not reflect in his gold-pecked
mirrors of falsity;

he should know
his broad, muscular back
is too weak to shoulder
my naivety.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: The poem is based on Narcissus and Echo. Echo falls in love with Narcissus, who rejects her love — causing her to pine away in the mountains, becoming the echo buried between the rocks. Narcissus, while quenching his thirst from a spring, falls in love with his reflection — and he withers away by the water waiting for his love to embrace him. Myths fascinate me because each holds a story of love that is relatable to our present situations. For instance, in this myth, both loves are unrecognised and unrequited, causing each to turn into an object reflecting the traits of the other — he becomes a flower, and Echo becomes stone.

IMAGE: “Metamorphosis of Narcissus” by Salvador Dalí  (1937).

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sheikha A. currently lives in Karachi, Pakistan, after moving there from the United Arab Emirates, and believes the transition has definitely stimulated a different tunnel of thought. With publication credits in magazines such as Red Fez, American Diversity Report, Open Road Review, Mad Swirl, Danse Macabre du Jour, Rose Red Review, and The Penmen Review among many others, and several anthologies, she has also authored a poetry collection entitled Spaced, published by Hammer and Anvil Books, available on Kindle. She also edits poetry for eFiction India. Visit her blog