Braille in Public Places

22 Sep

by Paul Hostovsky

Touch me, I know you want to.
What would you say if I told you
I’ve never been touched in my life
by anyone who understood me?
And even if they were having
their convention here in this building,
squeezing into this elevator,
looking around for this restroom,
bumping gently up against each other like
a queue of balloons at this
ATM—do you think they would
see me, or even think to look?
I hate my life. I should have been
a poem by Li Po with a pond
and a frog, a soft rain and a pebble
the size of a braille dot thrown in.
At least I’d have something to do
with myself for eternity. I have
nothing to do with anyone. I am
someone holding up a sign
in an airport terminal, waiting
for a look of recognition to come
from among the arrivals who never
arrive. And it never comes. What
would it look like, that look? Would I
even recognize it? Is it round like
a smile? Is it pointed like a greeting
or a touch? Would I mistake it for
love? All of my life I have waited
to be touched by someone who could
touch me like that. I have given myself
goose bumps, look, just imagining it.

 

Paul Hostovsky is a sighted Braille instructor in Boston. He is also the  author of three books of poetry, Bending the Notes (2008), Dear Truth (2009), and A Little in Love a Lot (2011). His poems have won a Pushcart Prize and been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, The Writer’s Almanac, and Best of the Net 2008 and 2009. To read more of his work, visit his website at www.paulhostovsky.com .

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2 Responses to “Braille in Public Places”

  1. visionthroughwords September 22, 2011 at 6:06 PM #

    Thank you so much for sharing your poem at this blogsite. I will search your website and the NLS catalog and other sources for more of your writing.

    Jeff Flodin

  2. sarahjmartin September 24, 2011 at 11:39 PM #

    you have a beautiful way of showing the unseen. Thank you for sharing your work with the world

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