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Thursday, March 08, 2018


by Lynnie Gobeille

This old woman lost all her power after reaching Turkey coming from Syria, on September 30, 2014. NurPhoto via Getty Images via Huff Post.

Having showered—I remove the bandages.
Look closely at the hallowed out skin.
I see the burnt spots
The singed flesh left
From the Doctor’s biopsy.
Note the spot she cauterized
To stop the bleeding.
Left with the memory of the scent
Like nothing I’d ever smelled before—

“Burning flesh” she said—
“has a distinct odor."

I go all Auschwitz; all Jewess
All checking my arm
For the tell-tale tattoo.
To be clear here:
I am not crazy.
For one moment I felt the fear . . .
The absolute awareness
Of the harm
One Human can inflict upon another.
In that one second of olfactory recognition
I understood why my grandmother changed her last name.

Came to America
My mother in tow.

Lynnie Gobeille is passionate about poetry.