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Toad Tool

To return to being the child that I am doubly, both now and then, both now and then multiply, to return there to the back of the eye as it vomits an explosion of pink ribbons into the shape of itself, I would like to touch on blindness. I would like to touch the back of my eye with my pinky, with its ring, its shape. I would like to touch a lack that is untouchable because it stands out of perception like the ghost of a sacrificed toad, a creature who hovers over one’s head, ugly and aesthetic in the unseen. There in the eye, both the toad’s and my own,  is childhood captured in an adult form, in a larger sphere, all the more pop-able, as if Madame Bovary occurs inside of the eye, all the more palpable like a zit, and inside of the thing inside, all we have is boredom and dumb sex in a carriage that moves dumbly around the eye as the blind man leaks from his eyes inside of the eye pinkly. His and their leaking inability to speak of the ribbon that fills the limited space of the eye’s sphere is the only trace, his and their lives like toads, and everyone like children. This is supposed to be poetry, but it is murder. This is supposed to be original, or an original take on syntax, but it is cliché. Everyone and every poetry is like children, and everyone is holding toads like they are tools. When the toad breaks down, in fascist, it’s known as vorhandenheit, and when I call ontologies fascist, in animal, it’s known as being-like-a-cable-news-anchor. But a toad isn’t really something that can break down, it’s an ecology, it’s an aesthetic thing that is always in the fracture between the broken and the ready, ribbiting always already from the wetness below its warts like this blindness of extreme sight, extreme in every site, in every citation, in all of our childhoods as multiple in us as the toad’s warts are within it. So when we ghost the toad, when we, as children, squish into the squishiness-of-its-being, we ourselves become abstracted into its sacrifice, and the only escape from the sacrifice is to, like a child who is also a mother, eat from the split belly of the frog to imbibe its squidge-squidge, a squidge that tastes like the emptiness and nothingness of all of the world’s breast milk amalgamated with the reproductivity of all of the world’s pond slime, and it tastes, like the inside of the eye, like eating one’s own tongue, this pink, this dumb, this swollen, this blind.  


Aaron Apps is currently a PhD student in English Literature at Brown University. His manuscript Dear Herculine won the 2014 Sawtooth Poetry Prize and is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press. His other collections include Compos(t) Mentis (BlazeVox, 2012) and Intersex: A Memoir (Tarpaulin Sky, 2015). His writing has appeared in numerous journals, including Pleiades, LIT, Washington Square Review, Puerto del Sol, Los Angeles Review, and Carolina Quarterly.