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Practicing

— Ciona Rouse

I walk, eyes closed, down
the hall, hands brushing our
bumpy wall lightly, “What are you

doing?” my love asks. “Practicing”
I say. I have glaucoma.
Which means a cloud overcasts

the sun of my sight until
there is no light. Or maybe instead
the black hole of my iris pulls

the gravity of periphery closer
and closer until it stampedes
a cattle of stars in my eyes’ mind.

All the light my brain uses
to kaleidoscope a galaxy
in my head, bones of stars bejewel

my sockets: gas, plasma, dust.
City lights collide and scope.
I know nothing of blindness.

And too little about science
to accurately describe
my future sight spaghettified

but the doctor says, with certainty,
quite certainly, I’m too young
to not go blind. He says I will,

eventually. And so I practice.
Science, too, knows little
about black holes, meaning they

mystify, meaning
they elude even the knowledgeable
like the doctor who so convincingly says

I will without saying when
or the end of a poem unpretending,
which also practices

also goes long ways down dark halls
feeling for its way, hoping it knows how to
carry nothing but constellations inside its orbits.


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