The first technician says, Click
each time you see a flashing light.
I click and click and click.
Let’s try taking a picture of your retina,
she says and switches me to another
machine that flashes light into my eye.
I am blind until framed prints dance
on the office wall like gray ghosts—
so much like teen summers I spent
in a lounger staring into the sun’s
hot eye. Red haze follows me
to a chair. I wait until another technician
calls me. Can you see this? she asks
handing me a photo. I see what appears
as Vaseline oozing in my eye around
tiny blood vessels. She shows me
another photo. This is a healthy eye,
she says. No globs on this photo. I see,
I say. We call that drusen, she says.
Let’s take one more. Get ready
for the flash. The other technician
reports you clicked too many times.
What does this mean? I ask.
The doctor will speak to you soon, she says.
Outside, the sun so bright
and young and tan.
Maryfrances Wagner’s books include Salvatore’s Daughter, Light Subtracts Itself, Red Silk (Thorpe Menn Book Award for Literary Excellence), Dioramas (Mammoth) and Pouf (FLP). Poems have appeared in New Letters, Midwest Quarterly, Laurel Review, Voices in Italian Americana, Unsettling America: An Anthology of Contemporary Multicultural Poetry (Penguin Books), Literature Across Cultures (Pearson/Longman), Bearing Witness, The Dream Book, An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation), et.al. She co-edits I-70 Review.