Back to the theme of poems on abuse, this is about the emotional abuse suffered in relationship to a narcissist. It is a subtle kind of abuse, the gradual undermining of the victim's selfhood (a victim probably already insecure in her sense of self because some form of lack of parental affirmation). One day she wakes up and realises that while Narcissus was glorifying his own self-image, he did so at her expense, parasitically taking from her (all in the name of "love") until she is faded away to just an echo. By then she may not have enough sense of self left to know how to get disentangled.
You are the thornbush, I the clinging vine.
You are the thirst, and I the water poured.
You are the trophy, I the polish cloth
You are the desert, I the empty gourd.
You are Important – ah! So neat, so sleek!
I am the lower case, the little vowel,
You are the lion that struts the sunlit plain,
I mourn in darkness, like some faint-voiced owl.
You are supreme, complete, you have no want
Save adoration, faint praise brings your wrath.
I am the audience and you the star.
You are the trophy, I the polish-cloth.
You are the grinding heel, and I the clay
Waiting to bear your print, I have no form.
Unfit to carry meaning, I must yield,
Since I am aberration, you are norm.