I’m too stunned to say anything intelligible about this earth-shattering poem. Just. Read. It.
Suddenly I find it odd that my arms terminate in hands — these firm and meaty pads, the bony fingers extruded in opposition to the outliers, these peculiar thumbs. Who designed these naked anomalies, wrinkling and weathering with the years? Where are my clever paws, their dexterous beauty, their soft and ageless fur? A […]
To think that we see them so often yet so rarely consider how those piebald songbirds so at home on a snow-scape in their portable parkas are made of the exact same stuff we use to fill up our electric sky & shocking watermelon nylon winter coats which must be designed expressly for us to go out there looking ridiculous not to mention callous (clothed as it were in outright exploitation)—is the thing I’m pondering as I observe through the window a little house finch all feathery & poofed with his flushed cheeks flitting over the snowy patio pecking among the abandoned bench-feet for invisible if not entirely non-existent morsels & hawking an air of self-possession that is obvious even to me in my current incapacitated state
As for whether the red-crowned retina specialist who conducted my examination was young &/or fetching the prospect was relatively murky (the simultaneity of his brisk entrance with the climax of my dilation expertly flourished by his robust clasping of my hand had inspired my conjecture that he might’ve been both) & you’d better believe all bets were off the very moment the white-cloaked smeary hulk of him ambushed my defenseless retinas with an impossibly aggressive radiant device thus affording me the pivotal elucidation: that a). the anomaly on my fundus autofluourescence images is simply an unremarkable patch of variegatedpigmentation b). it was only natural to expect that the definition of such a lexical wonder as variegated would elude thelayperson & c). I am indeed obliged by gratuitous pigeonholing to take categorical offense
Not that I’m usually so bold as to co-opt medical jargon but I’m pretty certain variegated is the only word that could aptly account for what’s right now comprising the better part of my visual experience as embodied by this polka-dotty aberration also known as a scone I resorted to purchasing in the hospital café thus affording myself the pivotal illusion: that a). I’m quite absorbed in an earnest task while waiting here in the lobby for my ride b). I wouldn’t otherwise be averting my freakish black gaze from passersby & c). I’m the kind of person who always smiles at everyone as if to say I accept you for who you are no matter what… From its orange piquancy I’ve gathered that the scone’s dark splotches must be cranberries—however vainly their vaguely moist sweet-tang serves to redeem their crumbly substrate’s alleged alimentary function
Still the finch remains staunchly committed to my functional blindness as if by sheer force of his impending command its concomitant scone-silage would transcend the glass & sift to the frozen ground
STEPHANIE L. HARPER
It may not surprise you to learn that I wrote this poem in January 2017, while brooding over a certain sociopolitical debacle. This is its first exposure to the light of day…