Dogs 2007

BLIND SPOT
(7/25/07)


it's always
been there
a perfectly round
area of blackness
directly ahead
in my field
of vision

it's about
the size
of a pop can bottom
held
at arm's
length

when something
is always there
it becomes
invisible
to you
and growing up
I never mentioned it
assuming
I guess
that it was
the way
that everyone
saw
the world

I was a teenager
awaiting my first
total eclipse
of the sun
not understanding
all the precautions taken
pointing out to a teacher
that looking directly
into the event
seemed the only
safe thing
to do

she questioned me
believing that I
was a fairly intelligent
adolescent
and not understanding
my obvious
misunderstanding
of the viewing precautions
and the attending
optical physics
involved

it took
about a half hour
for us to find
some common ground
of discussion
and once she realized
that I was genuine
in the description
of my obscured
outlook
on reality
she was amazed
and excited

true science
she termed
the discovery

calls to my parents
calls to the optometrist
calls to specialists
calls from the newspaper
of our small town
and the university
of a nearby city

for a few weeks
I was the subject
of concern
incredulity
and ridicule
in the community

interest
died quickly
and only my friends
would ask me
about the details
from time
to time
and laugh
at the remembrance
of my continual victories
in the staring contests
of our childhood

as I grew
I became aware
of the advantages
of apparently
looking someone
straight in the eye
and not averting
my gaze
no matter
their expression
or countenance

my peripheral
more acute
than my peers
I became adept
at reading print
and moods
perpendicular
to my line of sight
often startling
those about me
with incomprehensible
observations
of my sidelong
environment

I make them
quite nervous

the majority
must live
in wonder
at the goings on
in the non-focused existence
literally
bordering their lives
with a fuzzy frame
of unknown
familiarity

they miss
so much

my dark disc
does not actually
subtract anything
from what I see

it is
a continual
focal point
for my efforts
leading me forward
at a quickened pace
like some black hole
in my personal
cosmology
pulling me
bending light
about its circumference
bringing to me
in stark relief
the true nature
of both the local
and distant
universe

I look
inside life
through this hole
of heightened
perception

in it
I see
my soul

and yours