first published in Across the Margin, July 12, 2017
(with apologies to Cate Marvin)
Your ocular gaps are chopping block blue,
thin skin inside an eggshell blue, line of the knife
blue. No one could call them
rusted globe blue, tippled camaraderie blue,
save our country’s soul blue.
Instead they are jays in the cornfield blue,
scrub grass by the barn door blue, dancing fire
on the roof at midnight.
My optic apertures are dark woolen scarves,
wine barrel brown, ragged edge of the map
brown, eluding honor brown, stacked in the woodpile
behind the house. They’ve always been
count every step in my head, don’t stop
to enjoy the light, please look at me eyes.
When I was young I wished for peacock peepers,
neck of a slender vase green.
I coveted those optics of bus to Manhattan green,
don’t stop in the middle of the bridge green,
the kind of green that drags you down the stairs
out the door into the damp hopeful air
of Pennsylvania spring.
You might want me
if they were
something big is about to happen

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