Oscar Wilde Performs Surgery on the Wizard

This one time, Oscar Wilde removes my eyes with a silver spoon
and replaces them with Dorian Gray’s eyes
he declares, “If eyes are windows to the soul… then let them be fictitious may they never look old and tired.”
we‘re in London of course
drinking wine made from grapes crushed into tears by homesick kangaroos
who escaped the outback looking for better job opportunities
“You can taste the harshness,” Oscar explains to me
as he practices the fine art of swishing and spitting
but every time he spits into the spittoon, a little bit splashes into the grass
and I wonder how much human excess it would take for the grass to get liver disease
for its green to go yellow like mad kings in clock towers
for all of London to curl up into a ball that island kids kick around for a bit before they get bored and decide to build a better world
I’m lost in thought when Oscar touches my arm
he wants me to throw my old eyes into the ocean
he wants them to sink to the bottom
he wants them to grow into trees that rise past the stalks of seaweed
he wants the suicides of navy boys to live out eternity plucking fruit from the branches
he wants the suicides of navy boys to grow up big and strong… like whales
then he wants them to rise to the surface and stare at the sun
and think about all the sex they missed out on
I tell Oscar he’s drunk, but there’s momentum in his madness
and he suddenly grabs my hand and declares, “We’re going to a party
and everyone will love your new eyes.”
I nod my head
Oscar’s cute
I put my old eyes in the breast pocket of my suit coat close to my heart
because I’ve always been terrible at forgetting the things I’ve seen

All of us are made from old parts, we just tell ourselves that we’re new
stories handed down from cloud to ground, some words take root and bloom
sometimes they’re footsteps that don’t make a sound, your eyes might get ripped from your head
your nose might tell you that you’re dead, there is music that smells
and stars that shrink at your touch, narratives that rough you up
and leave you broken, faces are forgeries that don’t know what hope is



“Eye”by seabamirum is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Categories: A Few Good MenPoetry

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Justin Karcher

Justin Karcher is a Pushcart-nominated poet and playwright born and raised in Buffalo, New York. He is the author of Tailgating at the Gates of Hell (Ghost City Press, 2015), the chapbook When Severed Ears Sing You Songs (CWP Collective Press, 2017), the micro-chapbook Just Because You've Been Hospitalized for Depression Doesn't Mean You're Kanye West (Ghost City Press, 2017), Those Who Favor Fire, Those Who Pray to Fire (EMP, 2018) with Ben Brindise, and Bernie Sanders Broke My Heart and I Turned into an Iceberg (Ghost City Press, 2018). He is also the editor of Ghost City Review and co-editor of the anthology My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX [books], 2017). He tweets @Justin_Karcher.

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