The Gaze

“That which is light looks at me,
and by means of that light in the depths of my eye,
something is painted.”
– Jacques Lacan

The gaze contains a curse & a gift, it
turns us into an object yet
confirms that we exist.

The vision of the other can either
become a prison, a figment
of our imagination, or
the one & only means of escape:

take your pick, because either way
it's not what you think;

the light decides
between a painting or a stain,
between pleasure or pain…

everywhere & nowhere but
                    always outside,
it will eat us alive
from the inside:

thoughts of what the other thinks,
                    a black hole
into which we sink
as comprehending apperception
twists the thread
again & again…

                …until the light fights back,
& unties the knots: there is not (yet)
an answer, only the fantasy of two dancers
moving slowly then faster,
both tragic & absurd,
as an audience laughs
& cries as they turn.

Here in the Light

Here in the light
that forever fights the darkness,
we exist. Incomplete
                    objects;

nothing more than sentient flesh, yet
there’s always a surplus,
haunting us &
always finding ways to evade our gaze.

We call this thing our Self.

We can never have it; never know it,
not by demanding
                    or calmly asking

but we can see it,
                    sometimes,
in other eyes.