Exceptions

Artist: Sanyu Zhu Literary work chosen by: Claire Matthews

Click play above to listen.  

Artist: Sanyu Zhu

Literary work chosen by: Claire Matthews

Seeing with My Eyes Closed

Claire Matthews

Life is more fun when you make up your own rules.

A person can assume the identity you want them to have,

And they don’t have to know.


They don’t have to know that because they have a perfect

Body and wear the right clothes, you feel inferior to them.

They don’t have to know that they stole your life right out

From under you. They don’t have to know you exist at all.


Even though I don’t really know who you are,

I have you all figured out.

You wear your designer clothes and flaunt all your talents.

I can see it all so clearly in my mind.


It’s what I call “seeing with my eyes closed.”

You see, it’s more exciting to imagine what it sounds like

When your paint brush hits the canvas

Or what the red wine that your husband poured for you

tastes like in your mouth.

If I could actually see it all, my bubble would burst.

My quiet, angry contemplations I have with myself

About you and your life and what you stole from me

Would feel more real, and I would have to admit defeat.


If I could truly see it all myself,

The magic would dissolve into anger,

Because you stole my life.

But instead, I see a dream, an illusion, and life goes on.


Inspired by Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on a Train