Sharon Black


It slides and jerks at the shift of your eye. Skirts
the edges of your gaze. Absorbed

in the view, or obscured by your mental
leaps, it rarely hooks your attention

as it sinks, drifting downstream
as if tugged by an invisible line.

Behind closed lids under a bright sky you toy with it:
look to the right and it’s a hare in action;

to the left and it’s a toddler on a tiny tricycle,
pedalling frantically to keep up.

You hold it still by concentrating just beyond
its perimeter, skewering it to the spot,

before nudging it along the tropics of your globe
with minute quivers of your ocular muscle.

By your bedside lamp you excavate its outline
– skinny rectangle, capped head –

and picture it when asleep: in REM
swimming Olympic-style from one side of your eyeball

to the other – until settling, dropping
exhausted to the silt of its bowl as you wake.

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