Caryl Pagel



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.