Wednesday, March 05, 2008


This all started when I noticed she wouldn't open her eyes.

I thought it was innocuous at first, figured she had a
big imagination. Maybe she envisioned a hot-air balloon ride
with a twist; maybe a dingy pool hall with a pristine
King-size in a secluded back-room.

I told myself that she was afraid to look, like I
would disappear if she opened up. Poof, vanished, Houdini'd
away with Hot Pants.

Then I thought it must be the pleasure.
maybe she felt so good that if she opened her eyes she'd
burst with starshine and moondust.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm the one with problems. Got plenty
of 'em to go around. Maybe I should shut my eyes and not watch the
fold/unfold of skin. maybe if I squint hard enough, the little
boy will keep from escaping.

Maybe that's it.

Maybe there's a little girl trapped between eyelids;
and she wants out. Maybe she couldn't see anything
when the girl wasn't in the way. Maybe the
light only refracted when her eyes are closed and her
prisoner's pounding at her corneas to escape.

Maybe I don't know what the fuck I'm talking about. It's true
I rarely do; especially when it's just the
pen and me talking. Maybe all of this is a farce.
Maybe I'm fucked in the head. not like it hasn't happened before.
I'm a little lost now, explaining myself.

Maybe it's a quarantine. Maybe her eyes stood as the only organ
able to cleanse everything she processed before moving on to the brain.
Maybe by shutting up tight she purified the pictures she just
captured before committing them to memory.

Maybe she needed me. It's a hard feeling to assign. It's one
thing to claim responsibility, but another to give it away without
asking. Maybe I wasn't ready to prop her up.

Everyone does silly things for people important to them. I once
gave up cigarettes for a girl. And once I kept my hair at a ridiculous length
on the off-chance I'd be with this other girl again. Once I bleached
a shock of hair in the front; when I pulled it back into a
ponytail it looked like a skunk stripe. Once I got a tatoo of
a cartoon man holding a thumbs-up; it looked more like a chicken
when it was finished. Once I started smoking because all the other
kids were doing it. Once I began writing poetry.

Once this girl kept her eyes shut because she was afraid of the moment escaping.
To look at the veins and wrinkles of skin and little
curly hairs instead of her eyeballs
was just a little disconcerting.

I mean, what's she got in there that's not out here?
Creative Commons License
Shuteye by Michael W. Hyde is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

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