Glaucoma’s Curse

Glaucoma’s Curse
Janet Buck

She feels a grapefruit in her hands,
sees an orange, types a word, only spots
a syllable. Margins shrink.
Whatever it is she’s looking for
is always moving somewhere else.
A straight white line between two lanes—
just a string of dental floss.
Of course, it isn’t safe to drive.
Demarcation codes are gone.

All of this an equal sign of looking
at the earth below from window seats
inside the cabin of a plane,
the town she knows dissolving
boiled sugar cubes—
giant homes are little bricks.
Crater Lake’s a drop of blue
no bigger than a fingernail.
The worse it gets, the more she strains.
She rubs her eyes to make them work,
waxing on a Genie’s head.
Lashes fall upon a page like broken hair
bleached too often, brushed too much.

Camouflaged by piles of throws
in cheap chenille, now worn and stretched
by hugging them, even in this August heat,
all she was is shutting down.
Macabre secrets hidden well—
people drawing curtains late at night,
so no one gawks at what’s inside—
stark remains of skeletons, rows of ribs
like pencils scattered in a box.

Writing is the way she breathes.
She’s too old for learning braille—
there is no fogdog in the mist.
Moot remains are moot remains.
All these years, she trained
a cartridge full of ink—fill a void
with either grass or spinous weeds—
mark a hand by touching it.
What’s a letter? What’s a lash?
Both are black.

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