Volume 5, March 2012
A Ripeness, A Bruising
More and more, I grow dizzy
in public places. The doctors cannot say why,
in the middle of trying on shoes, I list left.
Or when pushing a thumb to tomato to check
for ripeness or bruising, I stumble, catch myself
palms-down on a bin of avocado. Why the counter
at the post office seems more speckled with dark
around the edges of my sight than at its center.
I make children cry. Their mothers think
I’m a drunk as I dance a syncopated weave
in line at the bank. It is a nervousness of body—
twitches of flesh that loose my hand from contents,
jiggle the vision, suggest a letting go.
It is on the most crowded of sidewalks
that muscle leaps for its getaway, snaps
back, tosses my body forward to the street.
Glasses smashed to asphalt, each molded lens
a foot from its other, my eyes see the asphalt’s
texture with a granular distinction. But looking up,
cars move by like diagrams of phenotype—
nothing but line and color in variation.