Was that you sitting on the bench, watchingthe pond, the hill greening with weeds?When I looked back, you were walking away, slowly,as if waiting for someone to catch up.If that wasn't you, then who was seatedbeside me last night in a dream, cursingthe purest white, soft-soled, slip-on shoeswe all had to wear in our prison?I slip on someone else's thrift store skinand my stories rearrange, changing colors.A chrysalis opens, I look up throughmy father's dying eyes, sinking awayfrom familiar voices fading and blending,drifting toward the mouths of fire, dirt, air.
Fish wander the pond's body opened by light.The earth breeds pinks, yellows, purples assomething breathes me and my hand reaches againfor the meat, the wine. What I meant to ask was,Who or what is gazing through our eyes? [End Page 107]
Jay Udall's most recent volume, The Welcome Table (U of New Mexico P), won the 2009 New Mexico Book Award. He is an assistant professor of English at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and a cofounder and editor of Gris-Gris, an online journal of literature and culture.