Eye Exam

by Kenneth Pobo

The drops go in
and I am back
in Villa Park, Illinois,
over 50 years ago.

At 10, I’m the one kid
in my class who can name
the presidents in order,
the one kid who still
hasn’t said fuck. It’s hot.
The apple tree tells
the cherry tree half dirty jokes.
Rooftops fill with angels,
Heaven’s drug dealers.

On the picnic table
I glimpse my future—
meeting a guy at 38,
the perfect firefly
for dark nights. The doc

says my eyes are fine.
I squint. My enemy light
brings me to the present
when many are dead–
memory keeps ringing
in my ears like tinnitus.


Photo by Orit Yeret (click to focus)



Kenneth Pobo had a new book out in 2015 called Booking Rooms in the Kuiper Belt from Urban Farmhouse Press. His work has appeared in The Queer South anthology, Indiana Review, The Fiddlehead, Caesura, and elsewhere. Find him in his garden or working on his Internet radio show called Obscure Oldies.