Many of the eyes are missing. Haters say the Turks erased them – some law against representation – but a man-boy guide on a bus tour in Macedonia explained that it was good luck to touch the eyes. We erase ourselves with our wish for good luck. And how come blinding someone else would give you good luck? But he was young, maybe 20, and had been drinking the monastery’s water from a plastic Schweppes bottle. Someone asked if the water here was okay to drink. He said, “I have been drinking it for two weeks and I am fine. Nothing is happening to me.”

Michelle Matthees' poems have appeared in Conduit, Memorious, The Baltimore Review, J Journal, The Prose Poem Project, and numerous other journals. In 2016 New Rivers Press published her book-length collection of poems, Flucht. More information about her work is available at  michellematthees.com.

You can see more of her work in 9.4

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