Vidalias

by Jeff Halbert

These are your eyes. They are two doors
opening inward, two identical selves
reclined side-by-side. They are the world
negotiated as a flesh, order humming,
soft moons stranded in their orbits.

They are sweet, finely-layered onions:
the wet film of the cornea, the lens,
the hazel iris dotted by a shrunken pupil;
behind, the retinas flutter their tentacles
backwards, cutting like lasers. The gravity.

They’re heavy with color, vocabulary
fields lit up at dusk, undressed bodies,
your own sad reflection in the mirror.
They’ve seen the grin on your own mother’s face
the moment her eyes absorbed shadow.

Before you die, I’d like to unhook them,
preserve them in a peach jar, label them
only eyes. I’d save them on the shelf
for the next man. When he finds them,
fixes them into his hollow face,

rubs them gently into focus with the back
of his hand, he will cry, “yes, your loss
is clear.” And the faint bulb above,
struggling for wattage in its final hour
will persist with light to watch.

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