Photophobia by Bobbi Lurie

I pray he will eat. I know he won’t let me make him food.

His fear of wasting water overwhelms him so he rushes to turn off the kitchen faucet.
He won’t drink water with his medicines. Or flush the toilet. I lecture him. Then I let it go. I’m tired.

He was hospitalized, force fed, for anorexia.

He almost died of the severe drug reaction, Stevens Johnson TEN, a rash-making mechanism, destroying the mucous membranes, internal organs; a conflagration,
his peeling off in layers like an unread book, burnt to a crisp, his tongue sloughed off
like a snake, gray, sloughing off his body due to this unfathomable tragedy: severe drug reaction.

They never told me about his eyes, what would happen with his eyes.

I lost my mind when he lost his left eye.

“Please put your drops in, Jonah,” I plead.

I go back to my room. I close my eyes. I hope to sleep.

I will take him to any restaurant where he’s willing to eat. I won’t think he will never drive. I won’t think of blindness. I won’t think of the little boy he was at three, wandering the hill by himself, contentedly.

Unable to read at eight. Unable to see at seventeen.

His left eye, an ulcer, from the disease.

Holy man, skinny son, impossible to look into the light.

“I can’t see anything,” he said.

I found him in the parking lot.


About the author:

Bobbi Lurie’s visual and written work has appeared in numerous journals. Her three poetry collections are The Book I Never Read, Letter from the Lawn and Grief Suite, all published by CW Books. Her chapbook, to be let in the back porch, will be published later this year by Dancing Girl Press.