At the Chanel Counter at Macy’s
I follow news coverage about the refugee
crisis. In the photos, the space
between the tents and sea is filled
by gray boulders, littered with dirty
clothes and plastic bags. This island
used to be a haven for tourists. Now,
no bodies remain on the beaches.
Before, there were both bodies and boats. Sails tipped
horizontal as they sank, men grabbing for a lifeline.
No metaphor serves. One local fisherman
still wakes up hearing screams. I am aware
of being American. I meet a Syrian woman
named Holly at the Chanel counter at Macy’s.
Looking into her green eyes, she convinces
me how pretty I am, tries to sell me
under eye concealer. She instructs me
to always move the hands upward
when applying makeup to my peach cheeks.
© Olivia Soule
Olivia Soule has an M.F.A. in poetry from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a B.A. in English and Italian from UCLA. She has had four poems published in the Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and two in Pudding Magazine.