we hold hands, mama and me, climb the steps to Lester Weintraub,

OPTOMETRIST. he tests me with the chart, changes lenses in
the two-eyed machine. blinds me with his pen light gizmo.


we go back the next night, and he adjusts my new glasses. i look
out the window for the first time and see the river, Brooklyn,
my reflection in a glass pane.

HOW DO YOU SEE    mama says.
great    i say.
GOOD    she says.

outside street lights appear above my head for the first time. i see
the girl across the street smiling. i see my room 13 floors up, the light
still on. i see the moon. i see the stars.

WHY ARE YOU CRYING    mama says.
you are so beautiful    I say.

Fred Nicholson