Danielle Weeks


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.