By Donal Mahoney
Remember, a blind man
can see things a sighted man can’t.
So I’ll tell you about her and then
you can tell me whether I’m right.
The first time a man meets her,
his eyes flicker and dart.
Desire, an appropriate reaction.
The first time a woman meets her,
her eyes pop out and coil on her forehead.
Envy, another appropriate reaction.
Today, who can blame either?
Today, who believes the canard
about the true, the good, the beautiful,
in theory or in a woman?
I never believed it
till the day that I met her.
And you won’t believe it either
unless you do what I did–frisk her for flaws
that will allow you to live as you are,
as you were, as I was when I met her.
As for me, I’m no longer the same.
Perhaps you can help me.
The day that I met her, I was sitting
on pillows propped against the wall not far from Walmart.
I had my cane and my cup properly positioned.
I was ready for business.
And then I heard heels type on the pavement
the story of my life. I could hear in those heels
a woman who knew me although we had never met.
I had my baseball cap upside down on the sidewalk
between my outstretched legs.
It was full of my wares–pencils, spearmint gum
and Tootsie Pops, free, for the children.
When her heels stopped in front of my spot,
I sensed this lady had bent over my cap
and was checking my wares. Her hair
was a waterfall licking at my knees.
I was inebriated by her scent.
She selected two pencils and didn’t ask price
so I knew that I had a real customer.
And then with a wave of her hand she let
paper money float through the air
into my cup. Believe me, a blind man
can see with his mind the butterfly
of paper money float to his cup.
Any denomination, large or small,
is a Monarch afloat on a zephyr.
Customers, you see, usually drop change.
A blind man can tell you what coins
a customer has dropped by the clink in his cup.
So when I heard her Monarch take to the air,
I forgot about my teeth and smiled up at her.
I usually don’t smile on weekdays.
I used to smile on weekends till Mother
got hit by that Hummer. She was never the same.
On Saturdays she used to bring meals in tinfoil
labeled in braille to tuck in my freezer.
She wanted me to know which meals were where
but I was never able to read her braille
so I ate whatever the microwave served.
This new lady in heels, however,
has stolen my bereavement and taken me captive.
She has me smiling. I’ve been stoned on her musk
since the day that I met her and I’m getting more wobbly.
Everywhere I go her scent surrounds me.
I’m an addict now and I need my cane and my dog
just to get around the apartment.
So, please tell everyone now in the parade passing by
to listen to her as I did and in time they may hear,
as I can hear now, a year later, the cherubim sing
as she blooms with our child like a sunflower in summer
while I wonder, I try.
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