When you close your eyes
so as not to see the world,
the world doesn't see you,
save a curious child's glance or two,
alighting on a paper bag.
You were Beauty's shawl. Having
slipped from her wings,
you're a colorless stream,
a broken bench,
unmarked by those
who pass unaware
they are moved
by your loud silence
When you wish to see the world again,
it is difficult to open your eyes,
for you are everywhere, and yet
so much a lot of nothing,
the soda can in the spilling bin,
the tulip that cannot hear its sisters sing,
the raven adrift to sea,
the jagged tear in a good man's shirt,
dampened with tears
that have a better claim to his affections.
Indeed if you are -
and you still don't know how -
to see again at all, it is best to remember
when you first saw the world,
not yet an unbeliever
in the happy sorrow of its colors,
a spectrum you once traced
with all the vigor of love
and being loved,
a memory throbbing like your left knee in winter.
For you are none the wiser
Fools seldom are.
your eyes were not your own.
Perhaps they never did become.
They were hers.
So bright were they as they dreamt
of all you'd be
so bright were they as they saw you
in all the angry brilliance you'd achieve.
She saw it all.
Even when you were little, and tiny, and small, and mean,
not knowing how else to be. Dear stupid thing!
And thus you were the great tear in her heart,
the fierce cough that still brings her
to the prayer of her knees.
And so perhaps you'll be content -
you don't really have a choice -
to be blind a little more,
to stumble back down the mountains you climbed,
and all the valleys you dug in your fear,
till, under the fierce protection of your tears, you crawl
into an anguish that is love
at its most terrifying and beautiful
and find yourself tossing up into sturdy arms
and brought sobbing to anchor
in a warmth you were once
foolish enough to renounce.
And when you open your eyes,
you'll see the world once again.
For you never left it.
Though you did try so hard.