2. St. Basil's School for the Blind
Frenchy came here
after the raceway flooring
stabbed its 200 pounds in his skull
and shook up the optic system.
He only fell 30 feet,
but the flooring came after him
like kids playing chase just as darkness
begins to bottle up broad alleys.
He felt his way to lathes,
made clumsy bookends, napkin holders,
lost the thick calluses on both hands,
snuck out at night with white cane
for a few cold beers.
They caught a woman in his room
one night in the third week of matriculation,
an iron widow doing her thing for the schoolboys,
bringing home the lap of luxury,
catching up on time.
The next day Frenchy took off
two fingers with a band saw, a message
to the administration: It's best to leave
well enough alone, total darkness
is a one-way street.