Close your eyes he said and took my hand.
There was something he wanted to show me,
something I couldn’t see. Raised like a scar,
a seam running through the body, here
where the day went dark. I’d wanted to see
the limits of sight, to know where the painter
had found an edge, and stopped,
the day done and the brushes washed,
the figure left to dry, in the dark room
someone half made would try to close his open eye
and find that eye will stay open and never see,
never see the rearing horse he rides
you know the posture you’ve leant back in the saddle
the beast beneath you pulled at its reins and told it to quit
it can’t quit it’s trying to it’s trying to stop
the bit in the mouth and no sight in its eyes
seen and yet blind this was the drama
he wanted to show don’t you think or think
of the woman holding the room on her shoulders
have you ever felt like that like you are to keep
very still while the others move around you
in birth I remember the midwife took my reins
is that right she held me here and there
and reached inside she was touching my baby
I had nothing to do but let it happen
I let it happen so well trained really a vehicle
you ride me or drive me oh but if you are the head
I am the neck I will turn you to my advantage
will make you see what is wrought through me

Copyright © 2015 by Jessica Fisher. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 8, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.