Paige Elizabeth Smith
This scar is a road map
Voodoo skin: it rises,
goosebumps without shiver,
whispering in Braille.
Fault lines divide valleys
and peaks, criss-crossed
by gravelly Mojave back-ways…
It was a rock-and-rollover.
The sky flipped once, twice,
the ceiling crunching, grasping
for our skulls.
I pulled myself from the sunroof --
once a passenger window --
this arm painted
in glass-encrusted red.
My sister, somehow serene,
washed me in sun-warmed water,
used a t-shirt to tourniquet
my weeping wound.
Will I have a scar?
lugged into a midnight clinic,
I asked the tired doctor.
Oh, without a doubt,
he sews up my mesh
of flesh, digging gravel
out from the gristle,
crafting me a cocoon
to mask the metamorphosis
I couldn’t wait
to rip open and reveal:
my Las Vegas souvenir.
painstakingly painted by someone’s babushka:
containing no yolk, precious one in a dozen,
what are you? if dropped, would you shatter?
there’s one at home, in my junk drawer:
confetti flowers against a blackened tear
bought in Lviv at the Easter market.
one week too soon, it was orthodox time:
while Jesus wept, white rabbits leapt
around the saccharine smell of hot wine.
and we all grey and hungover, after the hunt
for bargains, decided to visit the old cemetery
letting the sage guidebook lead our way.
there, some stoic, some smug, those young men
looked out from the colored photos of graves
recalling their time spent in the East.
I want to talk to my Martian cousins,
send them postcards, stories
of all the places I’ve spun:
New Mexico, Toronto, El Paso,
they won’t believe the vertigo
of Orlando or Chicago.
It’s probably pleasant to paint
with the cinnamon dust of Mars,
but kicking up a storm is such a laugh
with those jittery humans around --
they run like I’m the tornado’s son!
I leave the lawn a mess,
rearrange the rosebeds, hey,
that parking lot litter needs a lift.
I play with petals in crowded places,
tangle with tumbleweeds,
howl at the Sunday comics.
I rustle treasure from their trash,
take aluminum cans,
make them sound like music.
My dear cousins,
Wish you were here!
It’s been fun,
*These small whirlwinds, generally harmless, come out to play on sunny days and usually dissipate moments after forming. Martian dust devils can be 50 times bigger than their Earth cousins.
About the Author: Paige Elizabeth Smith is a writer from California, currently living in Scotland. She also spent four years as an EFL teacher in Poland. Her work can be found in Shoreline of Infinity, The Passage Between, Visual Verse, The Future Fire, and elsewhere.