Visions

I.
I always said I would live in a city like this
when I was old enough to run away
and not get caught. And now I live on a hill
that overlooks the place I once sketched from dreams.
Have you ever seen a dream turn three-dimensional?
Have you ever watched an idea develop depth and shadows?
It's a scary thing.

II.
When I was six, I thought I was psychic
because I saw the slap coming before his hand
left the print on my cheek. When I was twelve,
I thought I controlled minds, because I could make people think I was fine
if I rolled down my sleeves, and smiled, and told them it was nothing.
I thought I was psychic because I felt the bruises before they formed,
I went numb before my skin went blue, I always knew
when it was going to be a bad day.
Every day I made it through one nightmare
only to wake up into another, I could tell
it was going to be a bad day.

III.
But I've always had vision problems.
Lay out a grayscale map before me and I'll see
colors and places that aren't there, I'll see
empires that fell centuries ago, I'll see
oceans that dried up in the middle of the night.
I see the rose before I see the thorns, I see the stars
before I see the black hole that swallows them alive,
I see the start before I see the end, I see the boy
before I see the hole in his chest
where something's missing.
I have had four eyes
since the third grade
and I still can't see.

IV.
I predict that when I turn eighteen,
I'll go blind. Even now, it's such an effort to open my eyes.
I have learned to keep the things I want to see close to me,
because you're not here and I am near-sighted.
If I let you wander off, I'll lose your face. You will become
fingerprint smudges on an old photograph, you will become
a blank sheet of paper I'll keep trying to draw features on.
I'm afraid that when I turn eighteen, I will stop reading minds.
I'm afraid that someone else will turn on the lights, and I'll be forced
to see the things I have been trying to hide. I'm afraid
I'm losing sight of things all of the time, I'm afraid if I go blind,
I'll never get to see another dream turn three-dimensional.

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