I look into the river and see myself in reflection.
Colour fast but unstable, I move helplessly in it’s flow.
I am constantly being moved and changed,
but left stationary, moved but not moving on
like the fishes and pebbles.
Here I am, disturbed and abstracted,
surrounded by this rippling, babbling, watery world,
which leaves me unclear who I am and,
more unclear about the solidity of my background
and what is happening around me.
I look into two worlds which are intermingling,
becoming inseparable before my gaze.
My own distorted image fades and breaks
with the images behind and beyond me
in the background of my life.
This river is becoming a metaphor for my own confusion.
For the displacement and fragmentation I feel inside.
I am in danger of being broken up and washed away.
Unable to bring myself together, I remain in pieces,
undecided, lacking definition.
It is also a metaphor which stretches beyond my person,
into the confusion and fragmentation beyond it’s edges,
into the reality outside, which is pressing in on me.
It excludes any coming together, any resolution as
it embraces me in it’s ripples and sounds.
Such sweet, watery sounds, cooly relaxing my spirit.
Shutting out the incoherent babbling outside.
But still, even as I put my hands over my broken ears,
I know it will find a way inside and overwhelm me,
in any case.
First published in Selfhood Anthology, Transcendence Zero Press, December 2016