Incan Water Mirrors | Jean Kim

Jean Photo


They don’t listen anymore,
But I can–the mysterious hum
Of old temples, angles,
Monolithic stone.

Highly attuned to cosmic music
They praised the solar soul,
The same warmth heating the heart
From within, or from fire.

Astral ceiling giving off silent sparks,
Ancient light bouncing off mercury–
The pair of pools shimmer like eyes,
Deep like space, cool like thought.

Did they ponder like Narcissus,
Pensive in their own skin,
That the stars ran thru their blood,
That the sun loved them at all?

Or were there hints of chill,
The quicksilver quivering,
The magic mirror obliterated
By a single tear?

Even glass, let alone stone,
Isn’t so capricious like this portal
To wonderment, to prayer,
To the meditative quiet, fringed with fear.

They saw themselves, they saw the stars,
They saw illusion, a liquid photo,
Wishing, wanting, worrying—
They saw the moment, fraying, fragile—

They saw truth, inverted.
Now I see the same starlight they did.
The rain still fills the mirrors.
The stone still holds the rain.

Jean Kim is a psychiatrist working in the DC Metro area, and received a B.A. in English at Yale University. She is currently enrolled in the Nonfiction M.A. Program at Johns Hopkins University, and has also studied at the Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center of CUNY. She won a couple national poetry contests for medical students and was published in The New Physician, Pharos, and Medical Student JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association).

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