Issue 8: Stillness vs. Frenzy
A Publication of the USF MFA in Writing Program

One Last Look Before We Pass, Imperfect

Brian Dickson

Today we shall                               
concern ourselves

with the eyes
and their lucidity.

We’ll avoid Medusa,
Beatrice, and Guinevere,

or the directness of God.
Here’s what’s observable:

our whites, born

from marrow streams;


our irises and pupils,
I hesitate to say secrets.


And the cornea—
where was the first place


we saw a broken

mirror of ourselves?

And if we are broken
like oblique light

the image of us upside
down—my rods and cones

screwed to hear
the image right.

Speak of sun burn

and I know of much
worse.  Our ovals

unmistakable in
distance alter

How lovely, the image

comes in twos?

How when one ashed
becomes lost

the other engraved
image sings

for the words of away.


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