Size / / /

on the corner
is playing
"All the World is Waiting for the Sunrise"
on his flute.

Occasional coins
fall into the can.
On breaks, he fingers them;
each becomes an eye
that opens on another world.
Before the warmth leaves them,
his fingers catch glimpses of other lives,
scenes reflected in soap bubbles
or caught behind windows at night
just before someone turns off the light.

Later, in his room, counting the day's toll,
they cast cold glances back on him,
giving away less
than dead men's eyes.

He is an apt student
and had learned the world by sight
before, at seven,
his eyes gave out.
Falling asleep,
the rest of us sometimes
awaken later with darkness,
remembering nothing,
no trace of another world.

He falls into sleep
and a whole world
spreads its table for him.
Each time, coming back,
he is born into darkness again;
it's like shedding rainbows in his wake
as he returns to seeing the world
through donated eyes.

 

Copyright © 2004 Duane Ackerson

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Duane Ackerson has received a National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellowship and two Rhysling Awards from the SFPA. In the 1970s, he edited anthologies of prose poetry, one line poetry, and speculative poetry through Dragonfly Press. His latest collection of work is The Bird at the End of the Universe. To contact him, send email to Ackerson@navicom.com.



Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
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