By Peter Halstead

The world, seen backwards through
The wrong end of a tube,
Is no world at all, a town retreating
Down the road, not a view
So much as loss, regret, and fleeting
Hope, a girl who, up close,
Might be all eyelashes
And breath, removed and comatose
In the past, ashes in a glass,
A distant blur, once infinitely nearer,
So much invention, flesh, and ache
Now a crowd scene in the mirror,
Not the promise of the seabreak
Wave by wave, but the ocean yesterday:
Exploded, lapsed, and grey;

The trick is to provide
Another ending to a lens—
The stereopticon reversed—
So that what the eye intends
To slight is, on its flip side,
Just as brightly magnified.

La Jolla
July 23rd, 2007, 4:11–6:45 PM