The Girl Eating Oysters Stewart Florsheim

The Unseen

As the plane begins its descent into San Francisco
in thick cloud cover, the pilot says
And on your left is Yosemite, El Capitán.

My mother always hoped that what she had
was Lyme disease so she could give it a name,
imagine that it might be treatable.

The subject in Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter
opens her lover’s note quickly, then reads each line over and over
hoping that she might detect a change of heart.

We are compelled by what we can’t see
so that we might be surprised
by the things we already know—

The one thought we prey upon,
not unlike the way a bat stalks a grasshopper,
swoops down, then misses.


April 2004 ContentsPDF2River