The Thief of the Eye among Me


I saw her exiting a train she never entered and knew she was mine. 

She, like the horse emerging from the wave in my dream. The train, like the cave where I swam on my honeymoon—the place I began to bleed and never stopped. 

All I had to do was click through the pics of the completely gutted and renovated condo to know it was mine.

The sunken living room, the room raised to receive the first rays of the sun—the French doors that opened onto a terrace overlooking our shaky civilization. My forever home, mine. 

They rolled me to the nursery window and I knew right away you were mine. 

The other babies red and squalling except you, who would not join the rest but remained silent, breathing extravagantly as if to say, “Not this life again!” 

The first time I went down into the city I had only seen from the deck of the condo, I saw a practically naked man crouched over a grate, drawing up bling at the end of a stick, I knew this city would be mine. 

I, too, would have a steady hand inside this shaky civilization. 

On the map I made myself, which is my brain unfolded, I saw the shale spread its glacial darkness below the watershed, and I knew no one knew about it. Except me. And so. It was mine. Hard assets, hard assets, all mine. 

When I parted the hanging leaves and saw the trunk so crammed with lovers’ names there was no room to carve my own + my own, I sat down between the roots and hung my head, like a branch, knowing not love but the whole tree and the whole park, too, was mine. 

There was that moment when I saw the shuddering lights on the hillside and read the shuddering as pleasure. For the shadows passed back and forth across the light in such a desultory, rhythmic way, I had to make the hillside mine. 

If there is someone else who sees the beauty of the young boy with the wasting disease, the dark circles and defiance of everyone not dying so fast, let him or her walk him down to the water when it is time and make the sad introductions. But otherwise, he is mine. 

You wanted to be with me, but I wanted to walk the summer streets half naked and blasted to the root, muttering back at the sunshine. No one daring to accuse me of self-possession. If only you could have seen me in such a way. To have wanted to make me yours. 

Led to the fenced-in yard of the home, I saw the children shy against the fence, the one in the middle of the dirt, not shy nor against the fence but singing from deep inside his blindness. That blindness, mine.