The Deepest Wound
In Zimbabwe, I slipped off a ferry,
gouging my shin. For months,
my leg oozed
yellow, a gooey stigmata.
A sales clerk in a clothing store
approached me to ask
what had happened. I think he was
scared I had a disease,
would infect his store.
I will pray for you, he offered.
Someone already had: I could have
crushed my leg
between the boat and the dock,
been lost to crocodiles
in the Zambezi River.
Instead, I wear a scar
that looks like a man’s face.
I look at the man-face every day.
He’s fading and I’m getting older.
Another year, and like
so many others,
this man, too, will be gone.
Susana H. Case’s newest book is 4 Rms w Vu (Mayapple Press, 2014). Author of four full-length poetry collections and four chapbooks, including The Scottish Café which was re-released in a Polish-English version, Kawiarnia Szkocka, by Opole University Press, she is a Professor at the New York Institute of Technology. http://iris.nyit.edu/~shcase/.