• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 04
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Liquid Gaze

The water always gazed back.
At first, as a child, they'd corrected her:
no, dear, that's you, that's your face, your eyes.
She knew her own eyes.
That wasn't them.

In adolescence, a few times,
she'd tried again to warn them.
The water is watching, not just reflecting.
There's something alive in there.
People laughed.

A sense of unease followed her always,
jabbing sharpest when it rained.
The water was biding its time,
and now she was a paranoid adult
who would leap to avoid puddles on the path.

Move to a desert, a colleague joked
when she confided the water was staring.
She held her tongue, didn't admit
the watery boundaries she felt around her,
flowing her motions back to the stream, the sink, the droplet.

Eventually, the water stopped waiting.
They never could tell how she'd been found
with all the symptoms of drowning,
lying on her freshly made bed
with a full glass of water beside her.