The eye reminds me of my mother's liquid eyes. They are black, blackness radiating from the pupil, underlined and sheltered by the black of the lashes and brow. The skin around them is creased and feathery from rubbing. She cannot sleep and this reduces her to tears. Her eyes swell up: the lashes bristle. In the sea of tears are two pufferfish navigating the night sky, the moon and the ceiling. Her restlessness causes my father to take blanket and sleep outside, beneath the moon, on an army cot.

My first shiner is not even slightly related to the bruise. Bruises are sobering, pungent but muffled. A black eye stabs outwards, giving itself an arena of darkness. It is the obscene puffed sac of a bullfrog, back claw dug in the hindquarters of the mate; winking, one lid lingers moistly on the other.

What does Genet call it - "a black eye--a fistful of violets?"

The dark line of ink at the lid, delicately flooding the inner eye until it appears as a pale turquoise puddle beneath the eyes. A shell of magenta cropped by a grey swath--the streaming rays from the cooked cornea. Even orchids, with their pudenda interiors, cannot approach the puckered and fringed interiors of the sliding whale blubber that the normally minnowish eye has become. Neither a birthmark nor a tattoo compel the human eye as much as another eye, functioning no longer to siphon in sights but rather to draw up and gorge itself on blood that belongs deep beneath the surface.

When Marilyn sees my eye, she glances at my fist and frowns: you did something bad, didn't you.
I say, it's not all of me; you must separate the parts, you must separate the clean from the unclean, the good from the evil. The ear does not know what the eye has done. Only the eye acted and it acted out of a childish delight: the desire to see. Then put out the eye.

Even with one eye, I want to see everything: there is a sense of luxuriant waste here, our perception spilled and leaking into the rainbow swizzles of oil stretched across the rainwater. Our thoughts are no longer a piece of hard candy glowing translucent on the pavement but hopelessly dazzled, scattered.

I tell her, sternly, that the greed of my eye has been punished. I wear an eyepatch that I have made, condemning this eye to darkness, cursing it for wanting to see. I finally remove it when the doctor tells my mother that it could cause blindness. Now, on my left, all I see is a bright light. I am fifteen. Too much goodness, I think, is searing the cornea, cauterizing it.

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