Sara Borjas – Narcissus Tells a Ghost Story

Editor’s note: for mobile users, this poem is best viewed in landscape mode.

Sara Borjas

Narcissus Tells a Ghost Story

Look          at my mother              it’s hard to believe                                   we aren’t

already ghosts                that llorona          cries                 in the morning

the constant trickle           of tv dramas    & doctor bills    lighting her face

before she drinks             beside a candle        I turn                            the pages

of a Danielle Steele novel:                     a ballerina                makes it 

in Hollywood:                                     half         in my world                     half          

in hers             what I cannot                             fix             is my mother’s grief

for another life                 with respect            and a Lexus                          sex

her cries clatter   like bones   knocking                 an old door

her wet face          sweeps me up      like a river           shuts me 

smooths my want               like river rocks                    says don’t need

anything more                    than this couch    this glass of wine

sometimes        I think daughters             are pieces of fathers    

no one can breach      we cannot step through     this river

or out of it             my hair  crawls                  out the window

strand  by strand                 so my parents     don’t notice

   the gurgling                       so many days  I spend       killing       

it’s hard   to write                                                              we are alive

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