After the iridotomy

June 10, 2020

I tell him my favorite poet went blind at 43,
some think from the same condition as mine.
What good fortune that I can prevent such a
loss, unlike poor Milton whose eyes flickered
for years before they burned out like a candle
in middle age. How I’ve felt my age mostly
in my eyes, as if they are the center of my gravity,
carrying the weight of getting old like a pair of
sore shoulders. So much looking has made me
see less, I say, like reading a digital clock in the sun.

He tells me the iris is just a muscle controlling
the light. I tell him it’s color, named for the Greek
goddess who brought the world messages from
the divine. I tell him that Milton wrote his greatest
poem in the dark.