Secondary Vision


eyes closed, i pretend i'm flying down
the highway. i own the road at 11pm.
night, the river reflects the sky,
i reflect on the past; children,
holidays, snow, "forever" which lasted
just a bit less than that. open eyes.
the car steers itself. i do not see
what is in front of me, only those
things to the side, secondary vision.
primary is still beyond me.

it does feel as if i'm finally alone,
though i'm still "with" people. no
more karaoke because of second shift.
work, come back here. work, come back
here. and sometimes i feel ok. sometimes
i smile with my whole body and feel it.
but sometimes it's like it is now and i
am, while not lost, misdirected.

at work i stare into the eyes of souls
older than my own. lives lived, children
raised, pictures of grandchildren on the
walls. now those once-vital bodies rot in
seclusion. isolated in many ways from the
outside world, their vision is secondary,
too. i pour cans of hyper-rich drink into
tubes and try to find things to say. this
job is more technical than what i've done
in a while and it took a day or two to re-find
my rhythm. tubes and pumps and injections,
what does this med do? i find myself looking
things up in the medication handbooks a lot.

one lady's eyes see right through me. i try
not to avoid looking into them. sometimes i
see myself at that fragile age, laying in a
bed, a woman with soft hands touching me,
trying to look me in the eye.

i stood over someone today, performing tasks
with half my mind, the other half on my father.
had to blink back sudden tears and focus on
the person under my hands.


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