Scars by Sy Roth

Original photography by Robert Sundheimer

Damn thing’s always there.
Mound of deformed flesh
A cicatrix that never healed completely,
Raised blemish surrounded by distinct laughter of the others,
Laughter directed at me.

Horselaughs that echo from a calcified hollow
Find a temporary resting place in the canyons of my stomach
Where they circumnavigate
Hummed at by an ancient Nibelungleid
And I see the stuttering scene
Of an unremitting battle
Between Beowulf and Grendel played in an unbroken loop
As their merriment beats against the windowpanes of my eyes.

I schlep these scars around like a sack of potatoes
Ghetto boy hungering for a hearty meal,
But they bend me in half.

Like a dog, they nip at the backs of my feet
And I fail in each iteration to rouse myself
From the nightmares—
Fail to keep the promises made for the forsaken ones.

I fill my ears with wax against the Sirens’ songs
As the others crook their fingers at me
And sing their jubilant songs to my scars.
In a Tower of Babel colloquy,
They daven an incessant mumbling rumble related to them
As I bow to the winds of their voices.

Ungracefully, spirits have parted
Leaving a foundationless creature in its wake
Alone with the silence of Helen Keller’s hushed lips
An eyeless matron in a Gaza of my own desert.

I am afloat on an ocean of invisibility of my own making
Left to nurture my own burdens.
Awash on a convulsing sea
With only an interrogative
Who will be there to save me from me?

©2018 Sy Roth
Original photography by Robert Sundheimer


Follow Sy:

Sy Roth is a retired school administrator who has finally found the sounds of silence and the time to think whole thoughts. This has led him to find words and the ability to shape them. He has published in Visceral Uterus, Amulet, BlogNostics, Every Day Poets, Barefoot Review, Haggard and Halloo, Misfits Miscellany, Mad Swirl, Larks Fiction Magazine, Danse Macabre, Bitchin’ Kitch, Bong is Bard, Humber Pie, Poetry Super Highway, Penwood Review, Masque Publications, Foliate Oak, Miller’s Pond Poetry and The Eloquent Atheist.

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