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Seeing with My Eyes Closed

Artwork: Sanyu Zhu

Original poem: Claire Matthews

Seeing with My Eyes Closed

Inspired by Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on a Train

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.

Photo: Karah Smith