“Now we have eyes enough” – E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Sandman

Cut off my ears. I’m left stone
on water, an echo-brim
of bees. Cut out my tongue.

Louder, I’ll stay, unsilenced-
wolf against a snow-moon’s
howling, hollowing out

of stomach’s pit, a pith
where nothing feeds
and nothing grows.

Take it, my tongue, hold,
the whole of it, teethed
and toothless, and I’ll follow

the way of the ground, her taste
for contrast, the seasons
like a plague soak down,

stronger, stronger still
un-mouthed. Cut off my nose.
I swear to make the wind,

listen, wind on water
like a swarm of wasps,
listen, inhale it full.

Cut off, just do it, my fingers,
I won’t lose feeling,
one by one, my knuckles

know to swim through sand,
its desert current taking hold.
And last, hurry, you’ve stalled it

long enough, cut out my eyes,
and in their place, watch me,
I’ll grow wings. Watch,

the feathered-flight rise,
find me, hiding in your crescent
moon-rock, blind

and starving claim me, father
of the fatherless.
Beak held open,

feed me what’s inside
your birdlessness.
I’ll wait for it, swallow

dreaming from your lips:
this white-
eyed endless sleep.

Julia Kolchinsky Dasbach