POEM OF THE WEEK: Kristin Robertson
Meet the Owl with Eyes Like the Night Sky
–with a title from I Fucking Love Science
We all knew the boy who plucked out his glass eye
on the bus to distract the match-lighting boys,
the bigger boys, from setting his only jacket on fire.
We played Marco Polo with him in the community pool,
and every drowned pebble, every concrete chip
sent us hopping to the edge screaming the eye
the eye the eye. And then one day in English class
he skipped a rock between the desks during King Lear.
Only it wasn’t a rock. It was his glass eye,
and we tossed it to each other with a stage whisper—
Out, vile jelly!—until the teacher cleared her throat,
and to save him I hid it under my tongue
for the rest of that year and the next and the next.
And it felt like a love story in my mouth,
as brilliant as a planet, a piece of galaxy aflame
in the distance, always watching us wherever we swam.
Kristin Robertson is the author of Surgical Wing (Alice James Books, 2017). Her poetry appears recently in The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, Poetry Northwest, and Prairie Schooner, among other journals. She has received scholarships from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and is the winner of the inaugural Laux/Millar Raleigh Review Poetry Prize.