Odysseus’ Scar

Wouldn’t we all like to be recognized

by our old nurse

as the hero

from a childhood scar

I think

in the bathroom at work

in front of the big mirror

on election day.

As Auerbach’s Mimesis explains

the story is flattened

into the image

from the washing of the feet

to the accident of the hunt,

on a visit to his grandfather,


the wolf, himself.

My own boar-tusk gash is only

a pockmark, just above

my left eyebrow, my hunt

the oatmeal bath

and the room with the wicker

fold-out and the wallpaper

of red scallops

and the white monkey

holding a ball; in a black cardigan

and blue pants, I am my own

nurse, and I barely know


It’s election day,

how did it go?

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