Alex Houen


Driving Home Narcissus

Seeing reed in water’s hieroglyph for question sprouting screen
just as you’d thought it plotted, leave now this
          shore pebbles’ lisp.

Nibbling at the bare bones of it, I can tell some of this saliva’s
yours from the kiss before last. My jaw quivering
          is the saying.

So it wouldn’t be fair to say you were doing nothing. No.
Your blood an example, swallows to circulate everything,
          a faint tracing.

So I see. Clusters of tiny bubbles floating in your eye fluid, look—
somewhere between lilypads and flying saucers,
          as minnows.

And in that fatal moment your reflection in the windscreen’s an exit
you recognize. Conception through, you wonder on
          what tide it turns.

Now you’re out of your shell, listen.



Alex Houen lives in Sheffield, UK, where he teaches English literature. He once won the Festival of Sydney Poetry Cup, but doesn’t like to talk about it.