The Third Eye Counts


 not at all. It rolls, unfocused and lashed
shut, worm-white, unbidden by you
in some place like the black void
of a frying pan. It hides
though it may not want to. After all, who bothers
with an eye not yet accustomed even to
soft lights and the harsh knowledge
of where you might live in a year? The buildup
of strength to use it is monumental. Unworth
the effort. Can the whole project
immediately and leave alone
any thoughts of eyes, though the memory of
raking your finger over the edges
of whites will not dissipate from you
so easily, and neither will the
brief wetness you rubbed off on
your thumb, worried. You resent
having this forbidden surface on your own
body, even at this scale, like two planets
you may not set foot on. Your own body resents
you back, or at least this is how you
interpret the discomfort of
putting in contact lenses. Let alone
the difficulty of teasing apart with
your oafish spirituality a third
for scrying. Women in France used to
black their teeth with coal and ash,
thinking only of sugar, unashamed that their smiles
led nowhere. You too can sink your boats
in the bath, leave pockets
sewn shut with lint, run a catheter from
under the flower-beds straight
to the gutter. Your soil is so dark that
only its adornment of white dots
keeps it being anything, barely.
It looks lovely in front of your
clapboard house. So do you. You sleep
with your good eyes shut and grope through
the world even while the dream
comes to you, unwilling to wait.
You have heard your soul has
crawl spaces. You may find in them
nothing at all.


Fly Trap


When Casey’s lover leaves her,
she finds a small paper
napkin crumpled
on the floor of her living room
is like a mild toxin
in the brain.
Or in the back.
Only a little rot. One good
thought of a plant, a succulent
owned by a friend, is enough to
drive it away, fend blight
up the veins and back
into the bean;
but there it is again, in the kernel
caught between tiles of
a sidewalk, or in the deep-colored hats
sold from out of dark
and musical dens walked by
on Fulton Street. No, it is in
her subway line—but not the car
at total rest, or at full speed
screaming past her on sacred missions
into the midnight tunnels. It is the subway
slowing down at her fingertips,
sliding past to open
the doors, yawning slack as a
lily in the morning,
breathing crowds out
against the damp cement;
it is a longing for a lily
that would not just as soon
close on her hand
as open for it.