This poem is a collision of two poetry exercises and the minutiae of my daily life.
I got new glasses, and in the first few days they simultaneously made things clearer and sharper and enormously distorted shapes and perspective; I also wasn’t happy with how I looked in them.
As I paged though a book of prompts, I came across a photo I’d looked at before of a large prickly pear cactus. In the background was an ocotillo bush I’d never seen before, but the glasses helped me pick out. I jotted a few lines of description of the ocotillo, but nothing came of it until I crossed paths with another prompt that called for writing a syllabic poem. I counted, and all of the lines I’d written were within a syllable of one another. All that combined with thoughts about vision, distortion, clarity, and appearance and attractiveness to become this poem.
I put on the corrective lenses
That are reteaching my eyes to see
In the clichés of horror movies:
Looming trees, reaching branches, madness,
Distortion, reality dropping
Away at the frame’s perimeter.
Look: In the book of exercises
Is a photo, an ocotillo
Not yet in its blooms of lipstick red,
Twiggy, plain, thorny, uneventful,
The ugly duckling that will become
A flock of cardinals when it rains.