Posted in Language, Music

To the Eye Surgeon

No matter what we say, we still believe the soul is here, a live daguerreotype recoiling from the laser's perfect stare: the woods at daybreak, rain-light, mother love, preserved intact, behind the tarnished shapes you study and repair, with craft and guile; though what you see is anaesthesia, the opposite of space, antithesis of childhood snow, or torchlight in the stars; what you see is how the tissue looks when things fall silent in the inner rooms of blood and mind – and how else would you work, if not with something like suspended animation, the windows shuttered on an empty house, a random map of old iritis scars and shadows on a damaged retina the ghost companions of your healing eye? No one should have to peer into the quick of one soul, then another, through a haze of cataracts and retinal decay; the soul, when it is visible at all, should always be a glimmer in the green. a hidden thing, part-animal, part-stain, shifting away, to weather long ago forgotten, in a house of sleet and smoke, beyond this work, bevond this field of vision.
John Burnside

Author:

"If he's honest, he'll steal; if he's human, he'll murder; if he's faithful, he'll deceive. Being at a loss to resolve these questions, I am resolved to leave them without any resolution." I have so much to say to you that I am afraid I shall tell you nothing."

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