Sport 35: Winter 2007
People like to be looked at,
especially by beautiful eyes.
But only up to a point.
are no longer open
to critique, which is why
you should stare secretly. Why
believe me? I have experience at
observing. My eyes are always open.
At times I hate my wide painted eyes,
though I'm becoming wiser. They,
I now realise, give my life a point.
That gun slung over my shoulder, the point
of the barrel behind my headscarf. Why,
that's no weapon. My hands are frozen. They
could never pull a trigger. Now, look at
the magnolia between my fingers, my eyes
can't see it. They only stare out, wide open—
immutably, frustratingly open.
An artist carved them with the point
of his tiny print knife, thinking, 'eyes
as beautiful as a cat's. Why
not?' Carefully prepared, I ended up at
the gallery, alone with my sight. They,
the art dealer and her daughter, sold me. They
made twenty US dollars from a man with an open-
mouthed smile. He seemed to stare at
everything. Cycling us through Hanoi, he pointed
out the lake, as if he knew I could see. Why
he understands me I can't say. But his eyes
are so glad—pale-lashed, green eyes—
that I forget to question his awareness. They
flatter me, sympathise, know why
it's hard to be always open
to malice, accepting it wide-eyed; that's my point.
I am obliged to look out at
my viewers, constantly, eyes open
like a clear conscience. The man realises this point;
he needs to look at me, and to be looked at.