POETRY April 5, 2024

Sky Staring

The after-light of the sun in my closed eyes

pulses green and blue, flowers on my dark cranial

lawn. My ophthalmologist says I have

the biggest floater he’s ever seen,

that I should be wary of retinal detachment,

that naming the floater Greta and proclaiming

her my wife underestimates the severity of the situation.

Doc, believe me when I say I cannot bear

to unsee my nephew, who just passed

his object permanence phase and understands

the softness of my cheek still exists without his touch.

Believe me when I say my face in the mirror

is the only way I can show my mother grace.

It’s all oh so serious; I know, you know, Greta knows,

oh right fuck Greta, I’m sorry Greta, I love you sweetie,

you’re the best partner I’ve ever had, you and I

can still see the whole world together, even once

the light falls out Greta, even once the light falls out.

Carolene Kurien is a Malayali-American poet from South Florida and a 2024 MacDowell Fellow. She received her MFA from the University of Miami, where she was a James Michener Fellow. A Tin House alum, her poems have been published or are forthcoming in Salt Hill, Redivider, Bennington Review, Diode, Bellevue Literary Review, and elsewhere. You can view her work at carolenekurien.com.