Scratching the Surface


Needle scraped against my small, bare sole.
Feel this?   
Yes, the sting is a good thing,
that holding on to pain’s sensation
after strike of skull on pavement.
Do you remember? 
Yes, it’s one memory that clings
in this life where sting lies in wait.
Do you feel nothing else?
Sometimes, heat—this sun
penetrating epidermis of T-shirt—call it
an embrace.

What’s hard is to break
the glamorous, deceptive veneer
to unseal what you can’t name,
but sense that you need.  Begin

with these tree branch shadows
that skim across the grass and meet,
tipping their wide-brimmed hats,
and the birds that dive and graze
the bending blades, then vanish.

Beside me, you’re reading an article
on chaos theory,
looking up to say,
No predictions can ever be counted on
because of what we now don’t see or know.

By Maria Terrone


Maria Terrone is the author of the poetry collections Eye to Eye (Bordighera Press); A Secret Room in Fall (McGovern Prize, Ashland Poetry Press) and The Bodies We Were Loaned (The Word Works), and a chapbook, American Gothic, Take 2. Her work, which has been published in French and Farsi and nominated four times for a Pushcart Prize, has appeared in magazines including Poetry, Ploughshares and The Hudson Review and in more than 25 anthologies. In 2015 she became poetry editor of the journal Italian Americana.

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