Lenten Journal, Day 19

A pink spot, sort of,
transparent, sort of,
maybe even not there, sort of.
First seen on my eReader,
on my iPad,
on my laptop screen,
on my Galaxy phone.
Imagined, really, more than seen,
an after-image of an after-image, maybe.

There it is again
on my tax organizer,
on the report of income, paltry income,
on the tally of IRA stocks and bonds bought and sold,
on the spreadsheet of donations, cash and non-cash,
on the listing of potential deductions
unless they were “reformed” away in favor
of some rich man’s jet maintenance expenses,
jetting away, flying away, fleeing away,
as vision seems to flee.

Surely it is my imagination,
this pink transparency,
this trick of the light,
this blob of not-there that is there
at the center of my vision.
Please, God, make it imaginary!
“Where there is no vision,” said the prophet,
“the people perish,” but this vision,
No! Make it go away.

Today I ate an apple.
Before I ate it, I washed it.
After I washed it, I dried it with a paper towel.
I ate it, then wiped my lips with that towel.
Then, I looked at the towel . . .
and at the pink spot,
the not-there,
almost transparent,
after-image of an after-image,
the vision of no vision.

And I was tempted
to weep.

– C. Eric Funston, “After-image,” 25 March 2019