box of jars

catherine pond
In the piazza, the festival is in full swing. Garlands flutter
from the balustrades. Children shriek as a live quail crawls

out of a cake, shuddering its feathers, trying to get free
of the sticky frosting. Under the loggia, a boy dressed as an angel

doles out lilies. Inflatable animals ascend around him.
You ignore all of this, bent over the font at the entrance 

of the church, where your own face stares back from black water. 
Ripples tug the thread of your mouth downwards.

Left, then right: your lips spool and unspool across the surface. 
When you straighten up, the lines of your face pull taut.

Tell yourself it's that easy: how the dark water will rush 
toward the center, filling the space where your reflection has just been.