A Poem by Natalie Scenters-Zapico

by Mark Bibbins, Editor


You swallow silver bullets with a glass of milk until grey
appears on your earlobes and a faint blue moon drapes

itself across your cuticles. A grey that makes you think
of dying as an alien. Not the alien they called you

as a child because you had no papers, but the alien
they called you because your ears are removed

from your head. To eat silver is to get closer
to wealth. To eat silver is to get closer to buying

your mother a new kitchen stove, a car, a sofa
just for napping. Argyria is a skin condition

that has made your blood thicker and darker.
Will argyria turn you toxic? Slide yourself

across the greyscale, let argyria hold you
gainsboro, drip dimgrey, and sputter

slate. Say: hold me, Argyria, until I become the silver
men mine my #C0C0C0 body for, until I am the silver

chain they pull across the necks of their hungry
daughters, and feed to their teething sons.

Natalie Scenters-Zapico is from the sister cities of El Paso, Texas, United States, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, Mexico. She is the author of The Verging Cities (University Press of Colorado, 2015) and she currently lives in Salt Lake City with her husband, José Angel Maldonado.

You will find more poems here. You may contact the editor at poems@theawl.com.