To The One-Eyed Mistress
A fresh new poem by Ira Sukrungruang
To the One-Eyed Mistress
"I don't like it but I guess things happen that way."
And to the pineapple frond that blinded her, how it sliced
and slid to the side of her eye, like Odysseus
squelching the Cyclops, tragic
and lonely on that forested island.
And to the receipt she found in her husband's pocket
for roses never received, a love
withered, like marriages, like ghosts
whose features fade, the ocean
stealing layers of sand.
And to her blossoming daughters, whose shorn hair
ropes out windows and into backseats,
despite her ever-present gaze.
What can one eye see really, only fleeing
shadows in webbed corners?
And to canines tucked under her arms, her true loves,
and their protective growls when he nears,
to the silk touch of their coat, the comfort
of their heartbeats, their ears perked
for lurking danger.
And to the day she dons an eye patch, the day
she high-heels into the dawn of her awakening
and lets fall stones of hurt, the dead weight
of her former existence. She will kiss
the earth—so sweet, so tart, so sharp.
Ira Sukrungruang is the author of the memoirs Southside Buddhist and Talk Thai: The Adventures of Buddhist Boy, the short story collection The Melting Season, and the poetry collection In Thailand It Is Night. He is the coeditor of two anthologies on the topic of obesity: What Are You Looking At? The First Fat Fiction Anthology and Scoot Over, Skinny: The Fat Nonfiction Anthology. He is the recipient of the 2015 American Book Award, New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Nonfiction Literature, an Arts and Letters Fellowship, and the Emerging Writer Fellowship. His work has appeared in many literary journals, including Post Road, The Sun, and Creative Nonfiction. He is one of the founding editors of Sweet: A Literary Confection (sweetlit.com), and teaches in the MFA program at University of South Florida. For more information about him, please visit: www.buddhistboy.com.