top of page

Narcissus Retold

by aoibh anna

myth-making on my bedroom floor

They told her she would live a long life

if only she never discovered herself,

but what life would that be –

fear of knowledge,

fear of love.

Let her melt away

with a burning adoration

that lies within her,

for her

i have spent so long making myself

small, that someone might pick me

up & pop me in their pocket

– a tiny marble

rolling around, lost

and trapped inside

her own body,

but she is ready now

to pay the price of self-knowledge:


I am dropping into my body,

shedding like a snake’s old skin,

buttery frills of flesh rippling with pride

at her core, dusty pollen

stains curious fingertips

pale yellow, like cheap eyeshadow

it won’t stick.

Watery reflections, wandering past

the window pane – I see it !

A fleeting glimpse

of me, all me.

I could stare in the mirror all day

and never see myself

in the Stygian waters

sitting still, cross-legged;

a thousand questions begged

no answers found, only echoes

without parent sound,

so better the shifting river

for we are most ourselves in motion

and I find myself

living most honestly

in the corner of my eye

– dissolved

in an endless becoming


Aoibh Anna was born in Waterford and lives in a house with a fox in the garden (wherever she goes). She's a scribble, a scrawl, a claw at the wall. Her work has previously been published by Icarus Literary Magazine and Westwind Journal of the Arts.


Image by Bree Anne
bottom of page