Cicatrix This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

March 12, 2015

An indent on the palm
A cut on the upper cheek
A window into the past
Memories of accidental injuries

A knife mark, or a fall
A memory, but enduring
through rain, sun, or snow
A scar is always there

I have a couple myself
A mark on my foot
From the ocean
stepping on a forgotten anchor

But the one that is most important:
a circular spot on my upper arm
The one that stores away my reminiscences
Like a treasure chest with gold

The only key required
is a single glance at my arm
and I begin to remember
the past that brought me here

You see, I was born in Russia
And every single newborn
As a safety measure
Had a vaccine of BCG

It protects against tuberculosis
but it definitely leaves its mark
as a permanent patch on my upper arm
At least it brings memories back

Unlike most other vaccines
this one is intradermal – just beneath the skin
It causes the skin to stretch like a globule
if you can watch the needle go in

It brings back
cold, vastness, family
borscht, pelmeni, olivier salad
and sleeping outside, bundled up

All these feelings
From a small mark on my arm

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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