by Mikaela Wong
I paint to learn the practice of seeing people’s faces. Every pimple, every pore; their faces are stories, their expressions play symphonies or dystonia-filled scores. On one, weary scars mar the fleshy lobe of their left ear.
“I found a piercing gun off Shien,” they tell me.
Another carries around a plexiglass orb where their right eye used to be.
“I also have a slingshot with me, always. Just in case.”
So many, an air of mystery. So many, filled with the potential for forgotten history.
How many more will have to whittle their tongues down to stubs and offer up their wine-red blood, a sacrifice to survive time’s tides?
They will all. All but you.
You, with your restless feet, itching to roam fields unknown. You, with your soul of gold, all too eager to chip off chunks, trade pieces for promises of unclaimed fame. You, with your mind of oyster shells, which every day, layer by layer, sharpens stronger into steel.
Because, I’ve seen you (well, your spirit).
And I know you. Not well, but enough to remember you by.
When we eventually all sink back into the sea, at least you can take solace in the fact that I, someone as forgettable as you, thought of you. Once. And I still do.