Ocular Trauma

I was coating myself in glue

so I wouldn’t have to move

when you came to warm

your ego by the fire.

Your face was

carefully constructed,

an ice sculpture

you crafted yourself

in the mirror that morning.

 

But your voice didn’t reach me—

it got stuck

at the letter ‘I’.

 

I glared through the flames

and spat out the sparrows

pecking at the walls of my stomach.

 

They struck you above the ears,

such was the shock

that your eyes loosened,

unscrewed themselves, and fell out.

 

I caught them in my modest hands,

clutched them

to my chest.

 

When you left

to comb your black hair

with a brick

 

I kept your eyes

rolling around in my pocket

with a twenty cent piece

and a list of neglected wishes.

 

I found a park, where I sat

next to a patch

of marbled white mushrooms

and stared at my knees.

 

After an hour, I felt your eyes

looking through my clothes

at the ridge of my back,

my spine stretching forever

up, down and across.

 

I took out your eyes

and held them up

to the nearly cloudless sky,

begging them to see

from a higher point

or a more distant planet.

 

The six o’clock light

was stroking my cheeks,

begging me not to cry.

 

I tried to swallow your eyes

after my cup of hot lies

and a slice of dry hope

but I choked.

 

They wouldn’t go down

because they could never be

a part of me.

 

So I left them that night

on a street corner

underneath a flickering street lamp

in the hope that one day

they would see light.

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