Narcissus

What does death mean to a boy 

who doesn’t know himself 

from the wind that blows his head 

closer to where he’ll drown. 

Close enough to mistake

a goddess’s seduction for self-love. 

What does death mean to a boy 

who steps into water & dissolves like salt. 

A boy who could be more

than a languished lover of his day. 

Who wouldn’t chase their reflection 

at that first profound gaze? 

Surely not a boy young enough 

to mistake his reflection for who he is.


Russell Karrick is a poet and translator who lives in Colombia. He won the 2023 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Award. He is also a recipient of World Literature Today’s Student Translation Award and Lunch Ticket’s Gabo Prize for Literature in Translation & Multilingual Texts. His poetry has appeared in Redivider, The Offing, Bat City Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, and Magma Poetry, among others. Russell Karrick earned his MFA in creative writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.