poems as hand- and foot-holds on a glass mountain

An Imaginary Eye

“I didn’t need to see it,
I’ll forget it, of course,
as Light and Dark as my earthly shirt.”

– Ernst Meister

You can’t change your life, she said
what you think is your life is already gone

lifting one eyebrow
shifting a stray strand of her hair aside with a hand

I was young and knew nothing
but my own arrogance from inside it

her eyes were intense, confronting
studying me and yet ignoring me

with an odd mix of compassion and indifference
as though I was a stand-in, an understudy

That is why you can change, must change
she continued; repetitions are imaginary

you choose to change because you have no other choice
new lives are the only possibilities

it all happens just before you can see it
without a new eye, without its doubling vision

of each thing’s self-chosen necessary
within its many ultimate necessaries
each with a different focus

I felt dizzy, sat down suddenly
she smiled a normal smile with now-normal eyes

the moment passed and for quite some time
(at least a week) my vision was unreliable
from wondering which eye is imaginary

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