Magic Glass

To hear Ellen Bryant Voigt reading “Magic Glass,” click here.

The enormous world shimmering—
           then, in the magic glass, some of it,
                     guessed at, came clear.

Whereas my friend “in nature”
           takes his glasses off so he
                     “can think.” When he says

he thinks with his body—body
           grown substantial over the years,
                     as has his thought—

I don’t know what he means; or,
          if I do. I think thinking is not
                    the body’s job,

that the body gets in the way.
          Our friendship feeds on argument.
                    Each of us

has one prominent eye:
          his the one on the right, for the left
                    side of the brain,

language and logic; but mine—
          wide and unforgiving—mine
                    is the one on the left,

enlarged by superstition
          and music, like my father’s more
                   myopic eye.

Detachment is my friend’s
          discovery, what he commends
                   against despair.

And though my father claimed
          I never listen, of course I do:
                   after all, who else

but the blind will lead the blind?
         And the years bring their own correction:
                   to see a thing

one has to push it away.