I am in twilight while they stitch my new eye together,
Yet even at this vague distance from reality
My ego churns on: what are they saying about me?
I’m just the latest sputtering car in the shop bay,
Their muffled voices full of something about tacos,
A new dog, a lake trip next weekend,
Cheerful nothings people talk when finishing a job
While my eye’s gelatin quivers at their fingertips.
But somehow I feel cocooned in this trance,
Better than when I first awoke weeks ago,
Like staring through a muddy window –
Days of consulting Dr. Google, unable to resist
The countless nightmares that can consume us,
Then the real doctor, more relieved than perhaps
A doctor should show, pleased to report
I was nothing uniquely horrifying,
Someone so commonly and easily fixed
They are discussing enchiladas
As they help me see the world again.
I hear their happy voices growing louder,
On the edge of dream in an age of rote miracle,
At the routine mercy of chatty, hungry people,
Feeling ordinary, fragile but fixable,
The last blindness to be cured before lunch.
(First published in slightly different form in Loch Raven Review 18.2, Fall 2022 – thanks to the editors.)