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Trifocals


Now vision comes in layers, like a cake.
The iced top layer is for movie screens,
help I've needed since the second grade,

since the first pair, powder blue with rhinestones,
cupped my eyes like Siamese fighting fish,
lazy in their bowls. Those glasses changed

how the world saw me—at a remove.
They translated the blackboard's fog to letters,
the smudged horizon into sea or mountains.

The center level's for the middle distance
awkward places just beyond my reach—
the shelves of grocery stores, the vivid boxes

promising their miracles. A buffer
between the near and far, a cushy spot,
the creamy middle, not unlike these years

between uncertainties of youth and age:
lost days of pleasing by my looks alone;
the time when passing strangers will not see me.

The bottom layer magnifies the words
that used to spring forth, ready to be read,
but now withhold their meanings, cryptic runes

to tease my tired eyes. The dry and spongy
bottom of this intricate confection—
the least enticing part. Now that my view

encompasses beginning, middle, end,
there's no forgetting what's around the bend.
I see what's coming closer all too clearly.


April Lindner

This Bed Our Bodies Shaped
Able Muse Press


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