This news, match slapping
kindling, sets my ears on fire.
Its tambourine flames zap my
funhouse eyes open. They
had been for so long so far
from the light — huddled
against the cold of the night.
Now, my decrepit but loyal
peepers are swept off their feet.
They hear the dragons snap,
the Furies frown. Their fingers
craftily write it down.
* * *
ONE DAY IF I'M LUCKY,
me, won't ogle my blind,
bad-ass eyes, as I stand
in line at the coffee cart,
where I want my caffeine
fix, not their healing.
Strangers won't stare as if I'm
an exotic bird. I won't be asked
to sing like Stevie Wonder, or
why I dare to kiss a girl at a bar
when I should be safely
at home reading a Braille Bible,
drinking warm milk.
While wearing my black silk jacket
and red stilettos, I'll dance
with my lady. With no warm
milk or Braille Bible in sight, we'll
sashay before the Blindness god.
* * *
WHAT I SAW*
in our chalk-smelling school room,
I saw only the orange warmth
of our teacher Mrs. Smith's voice,
the yellow blur of Jimmy's pencil,
white shapes (snowflakes?) falling
against the window. My funhouse eyes
didn't see much. I wanted to see more –
Jane's tangly red hair, Frankie's
green-fingered monster socks –
until the black shape swirled
across my desk, slimier than any
worm. Creepier than any roach.
It's a swastika for your Jew daddy,
Johnny said. Then, I didn't
want to see anything any more.
*"What I Saw" is published in Love and Kumquats: New and Selected Poems forthcoming in fall 2019 from BrickHouse Books.