On Learning to Wear Glasses

ON LEARNING TO WEAR GLASSES

I
However it happened, eventually
my eyesight waned, lost the crisp
and let the world blur. Edges of objects
grew a certain fur. Details erased easily as chalk.

And in this slack process of loss,
focus stepped away from specifics,
vision relying on bits of internal
reckoning, the stilts of my other senses.

Under a norm of semi-clear, I saw
watercolors lean on memory,
learned how landscapes
never point to individual sufferings.

II
With glasses I see perhaps too well.
This clarity an intimacy without permission.
Not just the amazement of sudden freckles
or bulging veins, but the entire abundance of particulars.
My eyes off on their own. Loose dogs.

Some times for a reprieve, I remove them.
My hand a wand. The world takes a step back.
As if it were possible to end such scrutiny, pause
the immediate. Then as the routine of glasses
moves between choice and habit, I recognize
how much of this living is an emulsion
dependent on resolve to see beyond a lens.

Previously published in the Manzanita Quarterly (1998-2004)

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