Lee Sharkey


A rubber-coated metal bullet struck Ziad’s eye during clashes in Bethlehem…His eyeball
fell in the palm of his hand and…he kept holding it till he reached the hospital. He
thought they could put it back in.

—Muna Hamzeh, Refugees in Our Own Land
What do you do with an eye in the cup of your hand?
What do you see that you didn’t?
What do you make of a sphere of jelly with fins of torn muscle?
What do your fingers impress on the rind?
Do you rush it to hospital, where a surgeon waits to fuse sight to vision?
Does the eye have a nationality? a history?
Does the eye have a user name?
Its own rubber bullet?
Where is the eye transcribed?
A little globe there and you are the keeper
Of the watery anteroom, the drink of clear glass
Dear eye
Once it lay snug in fat in its orbit
Once it saw as a child
Through humor a peppering of stars

Lee Sharkey
“Eye” is from A Darker, Sweeter String (Off the Grid Press, 2008).