Thursday, April 05, 2007

5. Eyes, Eye-fringes, Iris of the Eye, Eye-brows, and the Waking or Sleeping of the Lids

In my more primitive moments, I wish I am a snail
and with my ocelli distinguish between light and dark,
between shriveling sunlight and moist dark,
and no more.

No shapes like a loop of rope swinging from a tree,
twelve bamboo fingers pinching fingers of flesh and bone,
iron-jawed pliers, grinning crocodile clips, hypodermic needle, automatic rifles,
basin, doorknob, chair or window.

If I were a snail, I won't see colors either.
Veins bulging in forehead. Cigarette burns. Bruises.
Lips dropping their cherry. Charred bodies.
Not even the soil, freshly dug, my body slides over.

But I am not a snail. I have eyes perfect for me:
cone cells for reading music, watching birds, and shooting rapids;
rod cells for looking aslant at the stars;
eye-fringes; iris of the eye; eye-brows; and the waking or sleeping of the lids.

Plan for this poem-in-progress


brent goodman said...

Well done Jee! One of my new favorites of yours.


Jee Leong Koh said...

Thanks, Brent. Glad you like it. A departure in style for me.