Marigo J. Stathis

Narcissus and Echo 

Today, while passing fancy store window, 
……………she avoids the reflections and 
frozen leers of jaunty mannequins 
……………with their flawless skin and smiles. 
Instead, her gaze falls on sidewalk slabs  
……………and cracked concrete. 

The thought of plastic and porcelain 
……………brings back memories of school reunions, 
where a queen always claimed the fairest throne; 
……………in every crowd, 
Hera pierces beauty with blue-green eyes, 
……………as Artemis vomits bile in the bathroom. 

On this day, 
……………she defies traffic signals 
and crosses streets without looking both ways, first, 
……………eager for  
somewhere to call 
……………home. 

As she boards the MTA and 
……………sits next to Juno, the sleeping bag lady, 
she wonders 
……………why she was taught to speak last, 
never first, 
……………never heard 
or protected from curses,  
……………and why it’s better to repeat what was already said.

She pays the price for humble strolls 
……………around a broken childhood and city; 
By every pile of water, 
……………she waits to catch a glimpse of  
might have been. 

When she reaches her place,
……………and finds the right key to open the space
she sees him smiling in the mirror, 
……………shaving a five o’clock shadow, 
in love with himself, 

And, for the first time,  
……………speechless and muted, 
she understands the importance of myth,  
……………the safety of cave.

© Marigo J. Stathis

Cognitive neuroscientist by day, creative disrupter by night, Marigo uses the written word as a weapon to dismantle the status quo and excavate the broken bones that women, families, and societies sometimes bury. Print and online publications in which her poems have appeared or are forthcoming include:   34th Parallel Magazine, The Baltimore City Paper, The Baltimore Sun, Bear Creek Haiku, Facedown, Lite Journal of Satire and Creativity, Minerva Rising Press, as well as anthologies (i.e., A Question of Balance, The National Library of Poetry, and Whispers).    

Back to Main Loch Raven Review Site