30 October 2014

An Ode to my Spectacles

You and I, I must say,
have quite a love-hate relationship.

Since the fifth grade, I've had on my nose,
some goddamn plastic frame or the other.
You know, that as far I can remember, I've looked at the world
through a blurry frame. Through a clear-glass separation,
 a distance upon which I am dependant,
without which - what? I can count the number of fingers
laughing friends put up, but you know, you know -
the world looks to me like a watercolour painting
that hasn't been penned in, like a foggy day,
like raw confusion: and you know
how uncomfortable, insecure I am
how I pride my ability, in every other way,
to See. 

To see, to see, what does it mean to see?
Clarity and confusion balance, stumble,
on a single vowel that stretches across the sky -
the sky stretched out on a windy day
sometime last year over a classroom.
Atticus stood in a deserted, waiting street
and my literature teacher was solemn.
He pushed his glasses to his forehead; 
they slipped down, and he dropped them in the street. 
In the silence, I heard them crack. 
Atticus' glasses gave us room for a host of metaphors -
his wisdom, his ability to see clearly, more clearly,
than anybody else in Maycomb. Atticus' glasses
gave me hope for my own glasses - if life is poetry,
then my glasses are a metaphor for my vision,
my discomfort with blurry sight, an allegory.
If I'm writing this story, I gave myself glasses,
in a character sketch you will find them,
inseparable from me, adding all sorts of
interesting connotations to me as protagonist.

O spectacles, sitting regally,
on pimple-spotted nose,
result of prescription sheets shouting
Myopia, Astigmatism, little bleary-eyed child,
O spectacles, extension of my physical self
since age ten, how I hate being dependant, blind.
How I instinctively fiddle with the plastic frame
when I'm awkward with my hands,
how, when I cry, little salt-water droplets
sit on you like dewdrops, waiting to be wiped.
O spectacles, I do apologize,
for leaving you on the bathroom counter today, unloved.
Me, I take you off my weary nose only at night,
when the world is cloaked with darkness.

My personal watercolour painting of the world
will never be penned in, lights large and looming,
ink blots spreading across the canvas. Without you,
my eyes will show me only a constant foggy day,
an image of chaos.

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