an eye, earth

his mind has an eye, buried in the earth
before he was born, so it can see only the dark
and the loamy movements of earthworms
and beetles and other things, whose smallness
and slowness do not frighten him,
which is part of the reason the eye is buried
in the dirt, where day and night and solstice
are whittled away to nothing by the granules
of stone, the decaying twigs, the roots (whose
smallest fingers brush his eye in the search for water,
as if to say, we’re sorry, but someday you might
see something whole again), though he is not worried:
if you ask him about his mind, the eye,
or where it’s buried, he’ll turn with the pair
of pale sentries that guard his face, and stare
through your skull, as if it were a tunnel
leading back to where he began, saying
that at least he knows what his eye sees

This poem “an eye, earth” originally appeared in Tracking CanLit. Spec. issue of Canadian Literature 220 (Spring 2014): 36.

Please note that works on the Canadian Literature website may not be the final versions as they appear in the journal, as additional editing may take place between the web and print versions. If you are quoting reviews, articles, and/or poems from the Canadian Literature website, please indicate the date of access.