Poem in Which I Am Not Shortsighted

First: surely myopia is a priestly calling,
where the world falls short in long isinglass halls.
Here souls flit like floaters, intransigent,
and the clear image crystallises forward
of the retina, oracular as a twist in a marble.

Secondly: resolution will never come to pass.
Even the finest lasers freeze at this degree
of negativity. It’s easier to see myself eyeless,
orbits cored and caved. But I am tempted:
I imagine such a poem, and I want in.

Thirdly: short sighting’s a matter of too much,
the whole 3-D backstory, the eye so stretched
it’s water-sculpted as a barrel jellyfish.
At 20:20 it would all be different: my eyes
round as real globes, doll-painted, factory-fresh.

I admit that I woke on a coach without lenses once,
and at 4 am could read the green LED
of the driver’s clock. It was a temporary cure,
but it was fine: the ripping away of cloth;
miracle, with its tinsellish, lottery-win tocsin.

Judy Brown


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