Gutenberg’s Dilemma

I used to draw pictures of eyeballs
upon every wall of the house.
They were mostly human,
but sometimes other animals
made the wall;
a goat, a panda, a snake.

I used them
as a reminder
that I might only exist
within the gaze of others.

Sometime in middle adulthood,
I began to draw the eyes
with their eyelids closed,
daring my sense of self
to evaporate accordingly.

It wasn’t until years later,
after examining the eyes
with the eyes of an old man,
that I realized how much time had passed
and how hard it is
to accurately capture anything
with one’s eyes closed.

Understandably,
my self grew weary of its story
without others’ input
and so I began experimenting
with mirrors and diaries.

Soon, my notes
grew to become a book.
I divided the chapters
by reflected body part: Ear, Shoulder, Heel, Wrist.

After finishing the book,
I used it to recreate myself
from prior words and illustrations.

Now, here we are,
reading myself into being.

I will be sure
to credit you
in the Acknowledgments.

Gutenberg’s Dilemma