This entry is part 18 of 34 in the series Small World


The blue plastic eyecup
of my mote-ridden boyhood
still sits on the top shelf
behind the bathroom mirror,
at eye-level now.
I remember how good
cool tap water felt
after the hot tears,
tilting my head all
the way back & willing
my eyelid to open,
& afterwards feeling
the scar & the scare recede
from that bit of grit,
but also a lingering sense
of guilt for letting
all the water dribble
to the floor or sink, how
the eye that tried to take in
a small piece of the earth,
as if mere vision were
no longer enough,
had blinked away the offer
of additional tears—
had refused to drink.

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