DISTRACTION BY LIGHT
The eye is the lamp of the body.
There are more colors than I am
allowed to believe: her cathedral
arms, glass-stained skin the holy
layer the eye has forgotten how
to see. But if your eye is bad. No.
If my eye is bad, I would still feel
her move with all the wild good
in the world — song-lipped night
and sweat, the groan of creation.
Tear it out and throw it from you.
I never learned how to grow back
the torn-open places, my hands
a mess of numb violet, for good.
Here is the bad: here is the body
with its eyes torn out, believing
they must grow back corrected,
that they would not lose anything.
Sometimes the day prints like a woman trying to ride a horse with a missing
back. Too strange to be real, even though it is, even though the horse
carries a half-moon of emptiness on its withers, too tired to be anyone’s
borderland escape. The woman doesn’t have anyway else to go. Her old
house is shaking, white squares patching themselves into the paint. There is
not enough good in humanity to love. But sometimes there is a moment: a
summer day, an air conditioner nestled in the window of a neighbor she’s
never met. The back of her neck glows. Oh, for the water of another.
Woman, believe someone there sweats in a tank top with a holey hem, stirs
pasta on the stove even though it’s too hot to cook. Two people in the
steam, now, taking turns stirring and standing directly in the artificial air
stream as their skin tightens and shrinks to a singular point. See the hair
and light lifting off the edge of skin. There is a borderland conditioned in
the body, where the missing backs go. There is a beast for its crossing.
Danielle Weeks received an MFA in poetry through Eastern Washington University’s creative writing program, where she also served as the poetry editor for Willow Springs. Her poetry has been published or is forthcoming in Bayou Magazine, Puerto del Sol, Salt Hill, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal, among others.