My Eyes Can Only See You
Your heart is racing, my doctor says
and puts me on more pills and less pills
and pills to lessen the more pills. I’m tired
of debating this although why not
just tell you I never hesitated I just did
what my body wanted, your mouth, my heart
beats out of time in what is maybe now dozens
of subway stops and city corners I’ve waited for you.
Until yesterday, I had to take my glasses off
to see up close. Why why why might be
my only question, but seeing you is extra-ocular.
Remember when I saw you? Suddenly there.
I couldn’t imagine you would wish for me
when you are so beautiful and I, I do believe
in fate, less in myself, longed/burned/wanted.
Your eyes are swollen, another doctor says,
have you been crying a lot—what is a lot, I ask,
this is the 21st century—I just want to see
how the letters come into focus—not at all
not at all and the E F P T O Z until I start
to memorize them and all they were ever
going to spell is your name, which I can see
clearly on the chart, always in view, what about
now? Yes, now, still now, ever only.
Lynn Melnick (she/her) is the author of the poetry collections Refusenik (forthcoming 2022), Landscape with Sex and Violence (2017), and If I Should Say I Have Hope (2012), all with YesYes Books. I've Had to Think Up a Way to Survive, a book about Dolly Parton that is also a bit of a memoir, is forthcoming from University of Texas Press in 2022.