The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®


Stella Reed

Psalm of Narcissus


Comfort me, O Lord in this hour, my beauty
sieving through pores, running from the cage
of my ribs to seek a home at last in your image.

My bones are glaring at me,
looking out from their funereal windows,
hinged mouths gaping, rows of tiny teeth
glow in the dark like birthday candles
on a caved in cake, and my tongue, O Lord,
in its forgotten den cannot stand up
or furl its edges to whistle.

It was you, Lord, scraped me
from my mother’s womb, your arms
elbow-deep in her blood, forcep
fingers stretching wide
her maw until my skull was round
and gleamed with all you allowed me
to dream, pumped my valves full
of loyalty, leaking only when you said
I could have salvation
and what I got was a near drowning.




STELLA REED is from Santa Fe, NM. She is a teacher for WingSpan Poetry Project bringing weekly poetry classes to domestic violence and homeless shelters, and is a teaching artist for programs working with public schools. Stella holds an MFA in creative writing from New England College. Latest and forthcoming poems appear in Slipstream and The Bellingham Review.



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