Aphelion Issue 235, Volume 22
December 2018
 
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Scratching the Itch

by Maria DePaul


It started with his right arm, but soon the rash spread across his body.
Irritation increased at night, especially when dreaming.
He would awaken in a cold sweat, his skin covered in flaming red welts.
The greening came next, followed by thick scales.
Jack was trapped in too tight a wrapping.
Dreading alien invasion, he was given a role in the attack.
“Lizard people are among us,” movies had warned him as a child.
Now, worry lines collected on his forehead whenever he cringed.
One day, the lines and scales overtook him:
Jack was gone but the lizard remained.


2018 Maria DePaul

Maria DePaul is a writer based in Washington, DC, whose work has been featured in Akashic Books' Terrible Twosdays, Aphelion, The Future Fire, 50 Haikus, Haiku Journal, Illumen, Inwood Indiana's "Unwanted Visitors," Nature Writing, Plum Tree Tavern, Poetry Quarterly, Scifiakuest, Speculative 66, Three Line Poetry, The Review Review, Violet Windows, and Wax Poetry and Art.

Find more by Maria DePaul in the Author Index.

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