The first time was surely enchantment –
or perhaps witchcraft, given the spell
he cast on himself. The pool stretched taut
in timeless stillness, as he bent
over the glazed perfection for which he fell.
That at any rate was how the myth was wrought.
It endured, and certainly (it must be admitted)
longer than the subject’s startled self-love.
The latter was ephemeral at best,
an infatuation: by definition unrequited,
since the image could not rise above
the limbo of that watery palimpsest.
Inevitably, the first wavers of doubt
rippled through his mind. He grew wan,
distrait, a shade walking through a curse,
given to hearing voices when he was out.
He sat down: a droop of brooding bone,
eyes sunk in holes, unseeing in mirrors.