To Answer in the Affirmative re: Distinguishing Marks

by Kelly R. Samuels

Nothing much of anything. Freckles. A mole along my collarbone
that was mistaken at least once for a tick. They stood on the trail
and slapped at it, as if that would save me, until I realized
the error and corrected them. No scars. Maybe my two bent pinky
fingers? Certainly nothing like a tattoo to identify me in case of
an abduction, which seemed to happen with regularity, inspiring
accompaniment at least part of the way. My parents driving past
slowly, slowly, the night I stayed over at my friend’s house–just
checking since the phone rang and rang, going straight to
voicemail. Later, home from college, out until three in the morning
and them standing at the back door, seething. All the television
shows with the scenes in morgues, the drawers pulled out and then
weeping. Yes, that is her. But what if found elsewhere, miles
from? And so: this as aid. For not the rehearsed answer that clued
them in and nothing I came into this world with or later acquired
in a brawl or a failed leap. Nothing of note until I said: yes, that,
there. In the bluest ink you have. The guy asked why
this, what it meant to me, and I made something up, something
about someone or an idea or a memory. But really: it was done
to answer in the affirmative for what I was groomed to believe
could happen at any moment.

Kelly R. Samuels is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. She is the author of the chapbooks Words Some of Us Rarely Use (Unsolicited Press) and Zeena / Zenobia Speaks (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in Salt Hill, Menacing Hedge, The Citron Review, and RHINO.