My Kind of Theology
This morning, I sat up quick
as the door hit the wall. My roommate,
carrying her suitcase downstairs
to pack for her weekend home,
had bumped my room on accident.
As I rubbed my eyes, she apologized
and knelt to pick up clothes.
When I reached for my glasses
to see her, instead of a white circle
in the doorway, she asked me to wait
for her to find a shirt. Staring right at her,
I’d had no idea she was naked.
We laughed about it then. But later,
when my eyes burned and tears stained
the lenses, I washed them and thought
how little I see.
As a kid, doctors gasped and said,
please bring her back every year. Once,
a doctor joked about my sightlessness,
how I couldn’t even see the white sign
on the wall, though I knew its big “E”
by then: “Lucky her hearing isn’t so bad.”
My mother nearly slapped him, swore
we’d never go back.
Now, when I wake up, I think about
how helpless I would be without each dip
and curve in the crystal; and on the nightstand
by my glasses sit these pills, too, that help me
stand up in front of people and meet their eyes
without throwing up or my heart seizing.
Is this what it means to be dependent?
My skills earn the money for the pills
and glasses and doctor’s appointments,
but I can’t leave the house without all of it.
Last week, I watched a video of a pastor
at a university speaking about her son.
The pastor’s husband had asked if, in Heaven,
their son might be cured of disability
so that they could all talk to one another.
And the pastor read a lot of Bible verses
before she answered, but I’ve forgotten those.
I remember her saying that she didn’t think
her son wouldn’t be the one “fixed”; instead,
her ears would be changed instead, made perfect
so that she’d finally understand all his grunts,
his noises. Maybe that woman might say
there’s nothing wrong with my eyes or my brain.
Maybe her Bible says that in Heaven,
all the words will be big like the type
on my phone when I’m at a hair appointment
and the stylist lays my glasses on her desk.
Maybe Heaven is so happy
that I won’t need extra serotonin to talk
to the angels or look the other people
in the eye, because none of them there
will have hit me before.
AMY LAUREN is a graduate student in Mississippi. Among other publications, her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Wherewithal Lit, Lavender Review, and Sinister Wisdom.