Legally Blind

5 Jul

by Coriel O’Shea Gaffney

In darkness my eyes find their true expression.
I underachieve, giddy.
Days demand I expend my curiosity confirming
the accuracy of each story I’ve deduced.
Night composes my truth:
humble world, easy breath.
I’ve spent my life projecting expectation
into forests of ponytails and desire into ponds of thumbs;
performing, daily, reverse-alchemy: deer to stick,
man to sign-post, turtle to rock, mouse to glove, water bug
to paper ball, spider to dust bunny, rainbow to wisp of hair.
Killing what breathes in favor of what fits.
Precision is not my native tongue, nor speed.
I squeeze my stomach to my spine
and try to memorize the lane as she loses interest.
A New Penn Truck going an even 60 m.p.h. beckons.
I ride her rattling certainty for an hour.
A cavalier driver frowns.
Obtuse if disciplined, all of us
stages of waning light.

Coriel O’Shea Gaffney is legally blind in her right eye since childhood (and was, for a time, legally blind in both eyes) as a result of Toxoplasmosis. She received her MFA from The City College of New York where she is also an Adjunct Lecturer.  She has been a featured poet for the Turnstyle, Earshot!, Bushwick, Franklin Park Literary Series, the louderARTS Project, to name a few.  As a member of the feminist collaborative 500Genders, she has been featured at the Bowery Poetry Club, Stain Bar, and Perch Café. Publications include: Lyre, Lyre, Union Station, Scapegoat Review, Promethean and more. Coriel was the recipient of the Jerome Lowell Dejur Award in Poetry and the CCNY Teacher-Writer Award.


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