Bleary-Eyed Blues

A poem by Julianne Neely


The great

writers—clenched, unresponsive—

the love-me-let-me-go writers, you

know the ones, warn don’t ever describe

the eyes unless you want to be the kid in gym class

picked last for the team. But hell, I’ll fight

for talk of the town eyes, 2:58 in the morning taking,

only way to stay replete,

press it to paper. Eyes the color of snakes

in grass so green and lamina it’s a camouflage

bite and before you know it limbs are swelling,

blood coagulating. Real fucked

up eyes, bringing the drugs. Eyes you leave

your man for, roll and curl around like a master

key. Cook em` food. Make your lover

bore you, need a coffee grinder mix—

the blue, the green. How much would you pay

for a sparkle? 100 grand to see them bleary-

eyed dropping salt, dull, bloodshot high

on my bathroom floor blaming the world. Bird

eyes with unrecognizable classification. Pitched

in tongues. I’m suffocating eyes.

I’m talking about eyes that make you lose

everything, don’t even care about that D in Physics

eyes. I don’t want to eat,

just take me into bed, let me twist

my finger in your hair for hours eyes. I mean

what I say: eyes you could never dream of.

A fir green they make you afraid to read

books. I’ll never touch another

drink as long as I live eyes. I smoked

my last cigarette for those eyes. I don’t want to die

young anymore, I’ll grow old

with those eyes. Have you ever seen a cloud

pass over the sun, shake a fist for breaking the heat

on the skin? That’s what it’s like when the eyelid drops

over these eyes. I need them open, charring. Please

don’t leave eyes. I put polish on my nails for you

eyes. I walked around you in a circle eyes. I sat

in the backseat of your car eyes. I rolled up the window

by hand eyes. I watched my mother and father die

for your eyes. I feel

sorry for people who say not to write about eyes.

They obviously have never seen these eyes, solid shade, waiting

side of the road to unzip, outburst, spin tires out. Make me

eyes. Now is all

we have eyes.

Julianne Neely, 23, is a writer from New York. She has been previously published in Unbroken Journal, Babe Soda Zine, Moon Zine, and Maudlin House. She hates bios but loves Harry Potter. She also likes Twitter. Follow her @juleneely. But not around in person. That would be weird.

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