The Blind Prince

After a long nothing
not even a black emptiness but nothing
I opened my eyes into white light
that stretched me supine in a white bed
three feet above the gleaming tiles

And the nothing began to fill up
with the effluvium of memories
some close to me others too far away
for my slingbound arm to pluck

No one saw the body
flail and spin for twentyfive feet
as the concrete balcony retreated

Someone saw the heap on top of mulch
navyblazerd like a pall
under streetlight broken darkness

A woman in white cloths told me I was lucky
five fractured vertebrae a cracked collarbone
every rib bruised four teeth lost
and blinded by the thorns in the garden
below the empty tower

I made a fast recovery
though some bones grew together imperfectly
and one tooth hangs lower than the rest
but my thornblindness took longer to fade
doctors said perhaps when darkness
had pressed down on me
I reached out and touched it back

And so I wandered around pale landscapes
where each leaf cast one hundred shadows
onto silty creeks that hardly flowed

Somewhere beyond the lightningsplit valley
just past the line of mountains on the horizon
a hair of music from a song I once knew
floats above a foaming river
that pushes against coral salmon
that still leap upstream
and glint beautifully
in bright beams from the sun


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