Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 114 in 2007.
At eighteen you taught me how to see
The woman who had vanished into air
Taught me how to see the white wall
On which the mind paints the colours
Of its loss, and certainty of loss.
In you I learned to know what seeing was:
More than taking things in
It was the ever-increasing line of trees
As the car speeds towards the desert
Where trees are nothing more than
Interruptions in the sorry blankness of things.
You taught me that the blind man
Can safely travel to the sun, provided he takes
His cane of ice and does not expect
Any woman to travel there with him.
And what does he look for when he
Gets there? the boy asked.
He looks for his shadow, you replied,
But not in words, just a silence
That was a shadow falling on the mouth.