T.S. Ellis

Poems by Thomas Sayers Ellis

A Kiss In The Dark

All Their Stanzas Look Alike

View-Master

  T.S. Ellis

View-Master
             for you, mother, thanks

I guess
I got it
from you,

this habit
of clenching
my face
into a fist,

this brutal
looking into,

your way
of seeing things,

squinting,

one eye
clearly unable
to reach
as far as
the other.

A childhood
plagued
by headaches

from straining
and watching
far too
much TV,
up close,

so nothing
would escape.

Then at ten
I got an
inexpensive gift,

one that held
images up

closer to
my face
like a kiss.

Imitating
the kids
who were
supposed to be
friends,

I blinked
and blinked,

testing
my sight with it
—perfect vision
in my right eye,

but the left one
was weaker.

It backed away,

watered
the blurred.

Farsighted!

your doctor
proclaimed,

adding windows

to our already
veiled corner
of the world.

We left linked,
two good eyes
between us,

joined by
our shared flaw.

You passing
your gift,

me making myth
with it.



From THE MAVERICK ROOM (Graywolf Press, 2005)

 

 

 

 

 

 
         
    Poetry Center Reading:
    Fall 2009