homage to my glass eye

by Amy Sailer

Who is this now
                                      who calls in
                         my chapel (sight bridled
                                     to prayer) of
the little Rothko

a man’s hand mechanized. My ocularist
                          prised my lid
                          open, filling

the hollow of me
with a jewelry that will not betray me
like my own anatomy:

glass stained with Windsor Newton
oil paints, the opalescent sclera
threaded with red silk for veins.

                         My little portrait erasing
                               erasure, my only
           death mask, little subjective, my
                        pillow talk, this eye

has been known to make men

our bodies’ private hymns
that need disclosure—
                                       But I will not mechanize this

intimacy—I will bloom
like lovers are supposed to,
the soft coral behind my eyelid exposed.

Nudity is a gift
until it is not—
                          the surgical theater receives
                          from the diseased or wounded

any meaning written on the body
                           folded open, splayed
              before it’s mended into privacy—

                                      Corona of the hazel
                                             sun eclipsed:
                                             a coin’s entry
                                                                           to forgetfulness
                                                             or a stone to close the tomb.

Amy Sailer’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Quarterly West, Meridian, Burnside Review, and Broad Street Magazine. She currently serves as co-coordinator of the Poets in Print reading series in Kalamazoo, Michigan.