The Human Genre Project


Photophobia

I fluster along the diagonal beach, I grab and cram,
stealing fragments until my box rattles with light.

Snarling bottle caps with their ridged silver teeth.
Twisted gum wrappers, those hostile shells of foil.
The white diamond-laced feathers, and the dazzling sea glass
I scrabble from the sand before it slices my sight.

They glow in confinement
like a magpie’s trinkets
like a miser’s seawashed stones
closed within a casket,
a cardboard box that once held summer sandals.

I stumble down this seamy beach, all bias and shifting lines.
I scrape the shining blots.

When this beach is blank I stare straight on.
Pure flat sand. Pure sight.

Aniridia is an eye disorder in which the iris is partially or completely missing. A person with aniridia frequently has photophobia (sensitivity to light). The mutation is in the PAX6 gene on chromosome 11.

Tracey S. Rosenberg