A Life of Collection

by Max Gilman '25 on November 10, 2023
Portfolio Co-Editor


He shoved metal debris in his eye at ninety-seven. 

Bacteria, mold curls his upper forehead like a pumping heart, 

The sin man has four eyes, seven blood types; went blind at forty. 

Alloy oculi and a strange syringe for an arm. The first thing he enjoyed was 

bawls, the gurgling cries of animals called children,

almost birds.

Next, learned cadences like a cannibal in inkless sleep. 

At four, his head spilt open on a fire hydrant, red paint masked the mark,  

All before he collected eyes, like an old man

ravaging dry parking lots 

for dimes. 

He was a rock target, a branch punching bag, an easy shithead with a gash for a face, 

 but loved the hatred,

masochist for his own eaten organs, 

His mother loved him. He hated the witch. 

Her old blues were his first pocket prize, her kitchen knife, his tower in babel, his god;  

A napkin soaked in his mother’s blood, squished to her white balls of eye, 

he played with the orbs like a putty. 

On the sixtieth, sin man amassed over four hundred eleven eyes, 

All mad colors of former owners, brutes of kindred spirits, 

Kept around him; tormentors of torture, pierced men and malice puppeteers. 

In the dead of dawn, he would eat his tendons  

and fiddle with the collection of dry or wet mush, 

All bloodshot. 

became sadist for his own pleasure,

collector of the most strange. 

Some say you see him coming, 

others barely bat an eye, in time for the metal man, 

  Sin man,

          The Collector of Eyes.