He’s so old-fashioned.
He drowned while gazing at his image
So he’s not here
To see his successor, Post-Narcissus.
Post-Narcissus is beyond narcissism.
At least Narcissus was a person
Of sorts, loved unrequitedly by Echo
The nymph who punished him.
Post-Narcissus is an image
Admiring its image.
Post-Narcissus cannot drown—
In the dried-up pool:
The fate of arid souls.
Narcissus never knew
To destroy her.
Deborah Pease is the author of a novel, Real Life (W.W. Norton, 1971), and Another Ghost in the Doorway: Collected Poems (Moyer Bell, 1999). Her poems have appeared in numerous magazines, including Parnassus, Denver Quarterly, AGNI, The Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Notre Dame Review. From 1982 to 1992 she was publisher of The Paris Review. (updated 4/2009)