Aphantasia

The mind’s eye asleep
when she is awake,
images hidden deep—
no shapes to make
as she writes stories
in her prolific head;
facts, dialogue, plot trees,
but the visuals dead.
Her mind is a secretary
rummaging among files,
reading them, but nary
letting her sift the piles
to read them for herself
or look down memory lane,
each cabinet and shelf
at the back of her brain,
but under lock and key,
the secretary condescending
and not letting her see
all that is hers, pending;
her memories of faces,
of music, of smells,
of visited places
and vivid details.
She is utterly blind
on the inside,
the forefront of her mind
blank—dark-eyed.
And yet, when sleeping
her mind’s eye wakes,
finally peeping
each dream it makes.
This is alien to me
and the eye in my mind—
I see things so vividly
whatever the kind
of thing I imagine, whether
image or smell or song
or one and all together;
it is not so wrong
as the black screen
inside her head,
the one where each scene
of the reel is misfed
and so fails to show
on the projector,
not even the glow
of a make-see specter,
and yet the reel turns,
every frame intact,
no cigarette burns—
just no connecting tract.
Just the same, she loves books
as much as I do,
even if her internal looks
don’t allow the same view.
While she may not see
the phantasia as well,
she still loves the library
and a well-told tale.

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