My eyes are so perfectly diseased
my ophthalmologist hangs photos of them
on his office wall. I pounded my head
on many walls until my pupils dilated
like a doll’s eyes so I could see for myself
the world where a mother drowns
the son who reflects his father’s face.

I lift my son from his crib when he cries.
I sing to him, “Up above the world
so bright, like a diamond in the night,”
but he does not stop. “When I look
into your eyes,” the doctor told me
as he shined a light into my pupils, “I see
an otherworldly sparkle. That’s the disease.”

Holding my son, I think of everything
I want to give him, everything
I’ve already given him. My eyes
study the curve of his mother’s body
as she muffles his cries in her breasts,
follow the snail shells of his ears as he settles
into her and drifts off like another father’s son.

Kip Knott | Mudlark No. 26
Contents | The Boy Who Dreamed of Me