Rumors

You are telling the story                    You
are telling the story again                    Twice
told you tell him the story
someone he knows told you                    You
know the same someone the same
story but different aspects and facets
You were not present in this
story but in one story he
was and it was told to
you by someone you both know
You tell him another story about
himself that even he didn't know
But you knew                    You've known about
his story for quite some time
without knowing him and he knows
you                    He recalls when you first
told a story—not the one
you are telling right now but
still true                    You keep telling                    You
want to keep telling him and
so you do and he does
too and at first you are
standing in the same place not
telling the story—just clues—because
you knew that you were going
to tell this story and it alarms
you that you knew                     You
find yourself settling into the room
He is telling a story that
is hauntingly similar to the story
told by you                    It might be
a part of the same story—
a larger story—larger than you
or your telling of the story
or his telling it back to
you anew                    But by now there
is just one story with two
tellers and it endures through both
the telling and the endless loop
that continues with or within you

Caryl Pagel is the author of Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death, published by Factory Hollow Press. She is the co-founder and editor of Rescue Press and a poetry editor at jubilat.