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Twenty Twenty Vision

Mark Ford

Unwinding in a cavernous bodega he suddenly
Burst out:--Barman, these tumblers empty themselves
And yet I persist; I am wedged in the giant eye
Of an invisible needle. Walking through doors
Or into them, listening to anecdotes or myself spinning
A yarn, I realize my doom is never to forget
My lost bearings. In medias res we begin
And end: I was born, and then my body unfurled
As if to illustrate a few tiny but effective words--
But--oh my oh my--avaunt. I peered
Forth, stupefied, from the bushes as the sun set
Behind distant hills. A pair of hungry owls
Saluted the arrival of webby darkness; the dew
Descended upon the creeping ferns. At first
My sticky blood refused to flow, gathering instead
In wax-like drops and pools; mixed with water and a dram
Of colourless alcohol it thinned and reluctantly
Ebbed away. I lay emptied as a fallen
Leaf until startled awake by a blinding flash
Of dry lightning, and the onset of this terrible thirst.

From Soft Sift by Mark Ford. Copyright © 2001 by Mark Ford. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers, published 2003. All rights reserved.

From Soft Sift by Mark Ford. Copyright © 2001 by Mark Ford. Reprinted by permission of Harcourt Trade Publishers, published 2003. All rights reserved.

Mark Ford