Alyse Bensel's poems have most recently appeared or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Zone 3, Quarterly West, New South, Bone Bouquet, and elsewhere. She is the author of the poetry chapbooks Not of Their Own Making (dancing girl press) and Shift (Plan B Press) and serves as the Book Reviews Editor at The Los Angeles Review. A PhD candidate in creative writing at the University of Kansas, she lives in Lawrence.
Your Eye Is A Red Dwarf Planet
and the cornea a black hole already
in reverse. The veins are rivers
coursing tissue continents.
A small sun near the surface tries
to burst out. When you sleep
that planet pulses, enveloped
by a dark atmosphere. I don't want
you to forget that in this metaphor
the planet, the eye, are dying.
This poem was written after my optometrist told me that I have congenital hypertrophy of the retinal pigmented epithelium. CHRPE manifests through unusual but benign lesions known as "bear tracks" (yes, they really do look like animal paw prints). I kept on returning to how planetary my retina appeared in the scan, and began obsessing over other retinal images.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
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